A Is For Art, I Is For Introduction
When we think about art, the first thing that generally springs to mind are the masterworks of the Renaissance period, when men such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles defined the visual arts for the next five centuries and counting. Painting, sculpture, and the other forms practiced by these masters had a long history even before their time, however, and have helped define capital-A Art since antiquity.
Music predates written language by several millenia. It has been used as a form of communication, and has over thousands of years and endless variations come to be viewed as the premier blending of entertainment and art through the powerful works of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and many others whom they influenced. Music in some form or other has equaled Art for centuries.
The modern idea of the novel has been around since the eighteenth century, when short fiction and epic romance became intertwined. For nearly its entire history (and in spite of pop novels, which continue to clog best-seller lists even now) the modern novel has been considered literature and, consequently, Art.
Everyone of any education thinks that they are able to define that capital-A Art. “I know it when I see it,” they say; so said Justice Potter Stewart about pornography.
But what about the pop arts? Is it possible for popular culture to transcend its vulgar origins and become Art? Of course it is.