Difference Between Art and Culture

Art vs Culture

As human beings, we constantly feel the need to express ourselves and human expression can be varied in nature. Art and culture are two such modes of expressions that human beings have chosen to express themselves through, and these are two aspects, which often overlap each other, sometimes going hand in hand, making it difficult to discern one from the other. It is for this reason that one must be truly aware of the many differences between art and culture.          

What is Art?

Art can be defined as a diverse range of activities executed by human beings, as well as the products of these activities. Art can be of many forms, as well. A visual art is the creation of images that can be seen by the eyes and these include sculpting, painting, photography and other visual media. Music, theatre, dance, film and other arts that require performing fall under the performing arts category. Literature and other forms of interactive arts fall under the broader definition of the arts while fields such as interior design, architecture, industrial design and the likes fall under the category of applied arts.

Art can also be defined as the representation of reality, communication of emotion, expression or other qualities. Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that explores arts and the related concepts such as interpretation and creativity. Art has existed from the pre-historic times and continue to thrive even today.

What is Culture?

Culture is a modern concept that evolved as a central concept in anthropology during the 20th century, and it comprises a wide variety of human behaviours and phenomena that cannot be attributed directly to genetic inheritance. According to American anthropology, culture can be defined in two ways;

1. The unique manners in which different people live and the manner in which they represent, classify and act their experience creatively

2. The evolved human capacity to act creatively and imaginatively and represent and classify experiences with symbols              

However, currently, distinctions are being made between the intangible aspects of culture such as language, traditions, customs etc. and the physical artefacts created by the society belonging to that culture. Culture is forever changing, being affected by social conflict, forces encouraging change, as well as new technologies and other societies. Globalization can be taken as a force that has been largely instrumental towards change of cultures all over the world.           

What is the difference between Art and Culture?

Art and culture are most definitely two things that go hand in hand. Works of art created by a society is a product of the culture that prevails within that community and, therefore, one can see that art and culture are definitely interlinked. However, it is important to discern the many differences between these two concepts in order to understand them better.

• Culture is the ensemble of social forms, material traits, customary beliefs, and other human phenomena that cannot be directly attributed to a genetic inheritance of a religious, racial, or social group. Art is the creative expression of one’s experiences, emotions and other qualities.

• Art is one aspect of culture. Art is influenced heavily by culture and is born as a by-product of culture, reflecting some of its customs, beliefs and values.