Column: Examining the definition of art


What’s your definition of art? The world’s expert on everything, Google, claims that art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture.”

Imagine that a millennium ago, rustics in caves were etching scenes of humans and animals using charcoal, ochre and other natural pigments. Often, these colorful landscapes were forms of communication or had a symbolic or religious function. Were cave dwellers the original artists?


Google’s art definition makes sense, and I value the cave-dwellers narrative. But how does an NFT suddenly occupy this space called art? NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are pieces of digital content linked to the blockchain, the digital database supporting cryptocurrencies. Fungible means the item can be replaced by another identical item. So, NFT is a piece of digital art that can’t be reproduced. Got it? Me, neither. Essentially, it’s a digital representation of art, music or other. As hopeful clarification, the first original text in history was recently auctioned as an NFT for $121,000. So, there you go.


Please meet Carmel artist Magdalena Segovia, someone’s art I confidently understand and adore, and owner of the Magdalena Gallery of Arts on Main Street in Carmel. Her gallery represents many other gifted artists. Unlike many artists, including me, she received formal training from the Panamericana School of Art and Design in Brazil after she received after her master’s in finance and fashion design. Stunning!

She describes her style as imaginative/figurative, with a recent bias toward abstract. I see hints of Impressionism. Happiness inspires her to paint, which is brilliantly reflected in her bright and uplifting paintings.

Regardless of definition, art is certainly diverse. It speaks to us and can bring immense joy and hope into our lives.

Randy Sorrell, a Carmel artist, can be reached at 317-679-2565 or [email protected] or


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