Art can be defined as a superior way of expressing the human spirit. It completes the natural environment – the objective and universal creation – with the subjective perception of the individuals belonging to that environment. Therefore, art is a creation inside the Creation.
The spirit can express itself only through art. In fact, art can be found even in the smallest details of our existence, when the human actions go beyond their materialistic and conventional aims, gaining a spiritual meaning. Therefore, not only painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature can be stated as arts, but we can also talk about the art of conversation, the art of tea drinking, calligraphy, ikebana, or even the art of living. Everything that is superior, that gains another significance apart from its material form and purpose, everything that becomes the symbol of the spirit, can be translated as art.
We can conclude that art and spirituality coexist and are interdependent. On the one hand, spirituality materialize itself through art, while, on the other hand, art cannot exist without spirituality, being, in fact, a consequence of it. Spirituality can exist not depending on art only as far as a single individual is concerned, through his or her thoughts. Once they find a way of expression, visual, audible or written, the art is being created.
Of course, not every thought of the human mind can be a potential source of artistic creation, because we are partly influenced by the primal instinct, partly by a superior conscience, the spirit which is the source of art. To judge art by its material shape is totally incompatible with the meaning of art itself. The spirit cannot be judged materialistically, so that we can consider art even an attempt, lacking perfection, but having instead a particular dedication, when it symbolically materializes feelings.
At the same time, we should also make the distinction between the particular message of an artwork and its real shape as factors in determining the value of an artwork. The technical errors cannot be excused by the subjectivity of feelings. What makes a clear difference among artist is, apart from the depth of their perception (on which others can only express subjectively, according, up to a certain amount, to their own perception), the quality of the material aspect that suggests the artistic perception – the quality of the artwork. This criterion is even more important when the artwork is meant to adhere to a certain style (especially realism, where the technique and level of skill really make a difference), giving up the individual interpretation of the artist. It is often the case with the artworks that succeeded renowned masterpieces, the characteristics of the work of famous artists being more or less reproduced by their fellows. Such creations are a sign of decadence, because art is not meant to represent shapes, but to express a significance according to the artists’ feelings, and the formal representation is only the ‘language’ that translates the spirit, the ideology, into a real, tangible form.
The ideal artist is that who has an own vision and is able to support it in a certain form of artistic expression. The essence of his or her existence is purely spiritual, while the material existence of the artists and their creations is to make the spirit face up to the whole universe, through a material form that would have a spiritual meaning – the one that needs to be decoded by the others, for their own spiritual development.