Defining Art: The two Cs

I’m simplifying my attempt to define art, boiling it down to two basics. This [potentially] leaves a lot of the potentially subjective slag on the outskirts of the conversation. I think. Feel free to chime in on the notion.

I’ve eluded to this simplification in the past year, used these two words together — and in essence the two words were in that previous document — in the same post as I recall, but I think I need to state it plainly.

The two basic components of an artwork are:

Craft: Every work of visual art is crafted by some process using some kind of material[s].

Concept: Every work of visual art begins with a concept which is then executed. Some of the time the concept is hard and fast and others soft and mushy, but a concept nonetheless.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Defining Art: The two Cs

  1. Julie says:

    That works! …I’ll take two, please. 🙂

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