7 Ways to Understand What Visual Arts Are

7 Ways to Understand What Visual Arts Are

Visual arts are those that are perceived mainly through vision. The artistic result is assessed based on the images created.

To understand, evaluate and interpret visual art, it is essential to observe it.

Among the artistic genres are: painting, sculpture, engraving, cinema, photography, architecture and design.

1. Van Gogh: The Starry Night (1889)
Painting is considered the most respected type of visual art in the West.

Since ancient times, painting with paint on fabric has been a means of expressing feelings and ideas. It is a technique that is still used today, allowing people from all corners of the world to express the most varied emotions and thoughts.

The frames contain images that give us a powerful visual impact, thanks to their colors, textures and shapes.

Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch artist, created the famous work Starry Night. This painting is an example of his creativity.

starry night painting by van gogh

When looking at the canvas, created in 1889, a night landscape comes into view, with a vast sky full of spirals. A cypress tree in the shape of a flame rises into the sky.

Van Gogh was admitted to the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence psychiatric hospital and the scene shows the view from his bedroom window.

Through vigorous brushstrokes and spiral shapes, the work expresses the agitation of feelings that the artist carried. It is possible to feel the turmoil of emotions he was going through.

2. Glass Tears (1932) by Man Ray: A Photograph
Since the first half of the 19th century, photography has been consolidating itself as an aspect of the visual arts. Initially, it was seen as a scientific method of reproducing images, rather than art itself.

Quickly, someone's enormous inventive capacity was noticed, and the person came to be considered an artist.

From the vision, the appreciation of art was established as visual art.

Man Ray was an artist who revolutionized the way we see photography. The North American used the technique to create highly successful surrealist works.

Glass Tears, also known as Glass Tears, was captured in 1932.

Photography Glasse Tears, by Man Ray, shows a woman with glass tears on her face and eyes looking up

The cinematic narration is reflected in the image of a female character with tears rolling down her face. Her eyes, marked with eyelashes, look at something above, which leaves us intrigued as to why she is so sad.

3. The Cabinet of Dr. Cinema
Visual art can be experienced through cinema, as vision is one of the most important senses for enjoying the cinematic experience. This happens because cinema is an artistic language that emerges from photography.

Cinema emerged at the end of the 19th century, when extremely short silent films were produced, lasting less than a minute.

As time passed, cinema gained new features that allow viewers to have a more immersive experience. Through the 3D technique, it is possible to create the feeling that the audience is inside the story that is being told.

An obligatory reference in the history of cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) deserves to be highlighted.
Robert Wiene is the director of this film, a classic of German expressionism. Its content is full of intriguing narratives, with dramatic and contrasting aesthetics.

Featuring exaggerations, angled framing and a ghostly atmosphere, the expressionist movement seeks to portray anguish and maladjustment in the context between the two world wars.

4. Ron Mueck: "Baby" Sculpture (2020)
Since prehistoric times, sculpture has been an art developed with the creation of figurines made from different materials, such as ivory, bones, stones, among others.

Art served many ancient civilizations to express their worldviews, representing mythological and historical scenes.

Sculpture remains a relevant artistic language, even with the emergence of new techniques. This is an art in which vision is essential for understanding, but touch can also be excited.

giant newborn sculpture by Ron Mueck

Ron Mueck, a contemporary Australian artist, has some stunning work.

Baby (2000) is an impactful work of sculpture that presents us with a newborn baby created in an ultra-realistic way. When contemplating the work, the viewer is invited to reflect on the human body and the meaning of life.

5. Engraving: J Field Workers
Engraving encompasses a set of techniques that allow you to create drawings using rigid structures as a base.

Wood engraving is one of the oldest and most popular methods of art. The artist creates the matrix by making deep cuts in a wooden board. Then, a thin layer of ink is applied to the matrix and it is pressed onto paper for printing.

In the northeast of Brazil, there is strong use of the technique of illustrating cordel literature with contrasting images.

woodcut by J. Borges of rural workers

J. Borges is a renowned Brazilian woodcut artist. His works display themes from the backlands, portraying people's lives and their habits, such as, for example, rural workers.

6. Lina Bo Bardi and her Characteristic Architecture: Glass House from the 1950s

Architecture is an art form that, through the construction of buildings, creates spaces for people and supports various human activities.

For a work to be considered art, it must have aesthetic and plastic concerns. These are generally assessed through vision, making it an aspect of visual art.
Casa de Vidro, located in São Paulo, is an emblematic work of modern Brazilian architecture built in the 1950s by renowned architect Lina Bo Bardi. It is considered a striking example of modern architecture.

7. Marianne Brandt and Her 1924 Tea Infuser Design
Design refers to the creative process of building objects with a combination of form, aesthetics and function in mind. These products are generally mass-produced on an industrial scale to make them affordable and practical.

In the 1920s, the Bauhaus School, in Germany, was created with the aim of encompassing different forms of art, including design.

Tea Infuser, and Marianne Brandt

Marianne Brandt, a Bauhaus woman, stood out in design when she created, in 1924, the Tea Infuser with a modernist design. Her work is still considered innovative to this day.