8 junio, 2024

Artistic piece: what it is, characteristics, types, creation, examples

What is an artistic piece?

A artistic piece, also called a work of art or artistic work, is a real or virtual object created with an aesthetic or social purpose through different artistic techniques. Traditionally, artistic pieces are considered those that were created using the techniques of fine arts, such as:

Painting Sculpture Literature Music Dance Theater Cinema Photography Cartoon

However, the term artwork it is also often used to describe anything that has been made or manufactured with great care and expertise. For example, it is common to use expressions such as:

That cake is a work of art!

The foregoing demonstrates a basic characteristic of the concept of an artistic piece and that is that it is something completely subjective. That is, it depends on the perception of the subject or the person who contemplates an object. It is common that, what for one person is a worthless piece of junk, for another it is an exquisite piece of art.

On the other hand, artistic pieces today do not even have to be physical objects, they can also be digital or virtual objects. Digital art has become a whole new class of works or artistic pieces that exist thanks to technology.

Characteristics of artistic pieces

they are durable

They should be able to be preserved so that they can be seen by future generations.

are contextual

This means that they are associated with a historical, political and social context, and this is reflected in the work itself.

have symbolic value

The message conveyed by a work of art is not always explicit, but sometimes they are symbols that represent the expression of the artist.

They are unique and original pieces.

No two pieces of art are the same, not even if one pretends to be a copy of the other. Each artistic piece is, therefore, unique and unrepeatable.

Types of artistic pieces

The artistic pieces can be classified according to different criteria.

According to the artistic technique used

The traditional way of classifying them is based on the artistic technique used in their preparation. According to this criterion, the artistic pieces can be:

pictorial artistic pieces

They are those made through drawing, painting and illustration.

Sculptural artistic pieces

They are those made by means of sculpture from different materials (marble, clay, iron, etc.).

It is made up of a script staged and performed by actors.

It refers to the pieces produced by means of the seventh art, that is, the cinema. Traditionally, it was recorded on photographic film, but today most is recorded on digital media.

stage art pieces

It comprises a set of visual art techniques that require a stage.

It refers to the pieces produced by means of musical composition. Both the composition itself, as well as the interpretation carried out by a musician, is considered a piece of music.

It corresponds to the different genres of writing, such as poetry, essays, narrative and dramaturgy.

According to its dimensionality

In addition to the previous classification criteria, artistic pieces can also be classified according to their dimensionality, that is, according to the number of dimensions that they cover.

Two-dimensional (2D) artistic pieces

As its name indicates, it refers to artistic pieces that extend only in two dimensions, which is why they are flat pieces. Many works of art are two-dimensional, including paintings on canvas and many frescoes.

Even some forms of bas-relief sculptures are considered two-dimensional despite having some depth.

Three-dimensional (3D) artistic pieces

They are pieces that extend in three dimensions. For this reason, they are provided with height, width and depth.

The most palpable examples of three-dimensional artistic pieces are sculptures. These can be created through techniques such as carving, modeling, casting, and welding.

virtual art pieces

It refers to a style of artistic pieces that do not exist in the physical world but in virtual worlds generated by computers. These pieces do not take up any real space, so they do not have any dimension.

Other criteria

In addition to these two ways of classifying artistic pieces, there are other criteria, among which are:

The historical period in which the piece was made (pieces of prehistoric, classical, contemporary and modern art). The concepts of time and space (spatial, temporal and spatiotemporal artistic pieces).

Process of creating an artistic piece

Despite there being so many different types of artistic expressions and therefore pieces of art, they all follow a similar creative process. This consists of 5 steps or stages, which are:

Step 1: Contemplation

At this stage, the artist analyzes both his own reality and the external reality in which he operates in search of inspiration.

Step 2: Gestation

During gestation, the inspiration obtained in the previous stage is transformed into a creative idea, which the artist begins to shape in his imagination through visualization.

Step 3: Design and sketching

Although not all artists rely on them, most artistic creators start with a preliminary design, a series of sketches, drafts, plans, etc., that will guide the production of the piece itself.

Step 4: Realization of the piece

This is the stage in which the artist finally gets to work and applies the different artistic techniques to produce the piece. As mentioned before, some base their manufacturing or creation on sketches, while others are more free and let themselves go without a previously drawn plan.

Step 5: Exposure

The artistic pieces are to be contemplated, read or listened to. For this reason, at the end of the creative process of an artistic piece, it is usually exhibited in some way, such as in a gallery, at some special event, concerts (when it comes to music), publications (when it comes to literature) , etc.

Examples of artistic pieces

The «Mona Lisa» by Leonardo da Vinci (1503-1519)

Michelangelo’s “David” (1501-1504)

«The Scream» by Edvard Munch (1893)

“Fountain”, by Marcel Duchamp (1917)


Artpieces.net (s/f). What is an Artwork? Taken from artpieces.net. BBC News World (2018). 100 literary works that transformed the world. Taken from bbc.com. Carlos CE, C. (s/f). Process of creating an artistic piece. Taken from es.scribd.com. Artwork (2022). Concept, uses, types and characteristics. Taken from concept.of. Jones, J. (2018). The 10 greatest works of art ever. Taken from theguardian.com.

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