The Purpose of Art?

There are many theories about the purpose of art. Even though art is generally not considered to be a basic necessity of life, it proves to be hugely important to artists and art-lovers. I have heard people say that art is almost like breathing to them. And indeed I have noticed that being unable to work over a longer period of times can result in making me feel anxious and even cause literal shortness of breath. This following artwork shows just that:

‘Lack of Oxygen’ – Eva Mout – acrylics on paper-A4 – available

One of the theories about art is that its job is to bring beauty into an ugly world. I struggle with that. Perhaps partially….. But I find truth much more important than beauty, which is subjective anyway. I think there is beauty in truth though, wether it’s serene and pretty or raw and cold. In life and also in art, nothing is worse to me than fake emotions, resulting in sentimental and kitschy images.

Degas said that art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Sorry, Edgar, I find that a very weird thing to say. How can your own artwork not be about your own perception? That is impossible. If I cannot depict my own view of the outside and my inner world, then there is nothing to interpret for the audience to begin with. So…. nah

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known


But now I have painted myself into a corner by saying what I don’t think the purpose of art is. Now, of course I have to tell you what I do think it is. Like trying to grab a moon beam, art is fickle. If you try to take control over it, you will end up with nothing. A bit like my personality! Art has many unwritten rules, that you learn at the art academy, but at the same time you’re expected to break them at the right time and for the right reason. What? Yes! And I love that! The same goes for the purpose that art is supposed to have. It’s like all these theories are true and not true at the same time.

But, to me art is about connection. First of all, connection to myself. I gradually lose touch with myself when I don’t create. And I feel useful and strong when I do work. I then am the fullest version of myself and I feel balanced. I feel good about creating things that weren’t there before and that they might possibly serve another person too in some way.

A peek in the inside of my mind: ‘The Being’ – Eva Mout – ink on paper – A4 – available

And to me art is about the connection to another. If my forms of expression touch another person in some way, then I feel less lonely. And who knows, perhaps it does the same to them! Yes, I can get lonely and with that I mean lonely in my mind, not in daily life. It’s nothing gloomy, it’s just a part of who I am and how my artist mind works. But that rare moment, when a friend or a complete stranger responds to this peek they have had inside of my mind, (which it is of course) in such a way that it tells me that they have really understood what I was trying to say, then for a while I feel I am not completely alone in my mind all the time. That there are at least a few more people out there, somewhere, with the same strange interests, feelings, thoughts and fears.

I would love to hear what you opinions are on this subject, so please leave a comment. If you want to see more of my work, then you can visit my website. And if you have any questions or when you are interested in a particular artwork, then don’t hesitate to be in touch by sending me an email at:

Eva Mout, Ursus Art

5 thoughts on “The Purpose of Art?

  1. You just expressed what is so difficult for me to express in words! And words are also are you just created a piece of art here with words! Creating art for me is the only way I can express certain emotions, the paint has magic in It and when I let the paint guide me my emotions come out more clearly. I understand what you’re saying about connecting with others, when I do a piece of art that expresses my deepest emotions and someone else feels a deep emotion even if it’s different from the one I was trying to express it touches me in such a deep way and I don’t feel alone and I feel connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree! I have the same experience with reading and with films! In that case I connect to the main character, or sometimes with someone who has a less great role to play. It’s like in art, music and film, more emotions are allowed than in real life. I often would have had a certain conversation I see on the screen with someone, but fail to have the right person in my life to do that with. Artist’s brains aren’t easy. We have 125 tabs open of our brains all the time and we can’t close them down. So…. we need art to organise our thoughts and emotions….


  3. I agree art does connect people in many ways it also disconnects others sometimes, for instance some people see what they want to see in art rather than what the artist is feeling or communicating with you through their art! Which actually quite annoyed me sometimes but I try to restrain my annoyance to it. To me art also shows the arts view of life so can say a lot about them as a person or what they think about there’s so much one could say on this subject

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I know that situation too. People see what they can see. They understand what they can understand. As long as they buy it, lololol.
      I think indeed art is an endless subject to talk about! Hence the blog!


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