Defining what an artist actually is can be a difficult proposition. Perhaps we should take the words of one of the world’s greatest artists, Pablo Picasso, who said: What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only his eyes if he is a painter, or his ears if he is a musician? On the contrary, he is at the same time a political being, constantly on the alert for the heart-rending, burning, or happy events in the world, molding himself in their likeness. This definition places the artist firmly at the cutting edge of history, with a hotline to the burning issues of the day and finding ways to engage with them using his whole being. It suggests that status should be far from the artist’s mind and that his duty is to refine his skills so that he can faithfully represent what is happening around him. Picasso also makes it clear that there is no one thing that qualifies as art. He mentions music as well as painting in this quotation, and he himself produced works in many different media including paintings, collages, and sculpture. Art can be made with many different media and forms, and this allows artists the ability to adapt and change over history, adapting materials, techniques, and styles which come in and out of use over time.
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