Blurring the Lines: Fine Art vs. Communication Art

I’m a little bit of a French buff. Come into my dorm room and you’ll see that my walls are covered with French photographs and artwork. What’s interesting, though, (and perfect for me as an advertising major) is that many of these posters of French art were originally made as advertisements. I use these as inspiration for drawing as well as my advertising work, which leads me to wonder, where is the line between fine art and communication arts?

By definition, commercial art is separated from fine art because it is created for commercial use. Many people try to define characteristics that draw the line between the two: typography, page layout, even medium. However, in my opinion, communication art differs from fine art simply in usage. Both are done with a purpose: to convey something, whether it is emotion, a new idea or an innovative product. Both invite a response. Communication art differs in that it is done for commercial use. Even at this point, the line continues to be blurred. Otherwise, why would I have these “commercial” advertisements hung on my wall as artwork?

I don’t believe that there is a line between fine art and commercial art. Fine art can be incorporated into commercial art, and good commercial art can later be displayed just as fine art would be. They are interchangeable. An artist is an artist, and the purpose is to create art − simple as that.

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