'All of creation is but a poor imitation of God's ideal. And man, when making art, only creates imitations of imitations.' — Plato [paraphrased]
Today — 2,000 years after Plato's assertion -- art is 'Expressive,' this means it is a representation of the artist's innermost self. And too there's 'Formalism,' which means an artwork's worth is based on its medium, technique, color, etc. And then there's 'Aestheticism,' art created solely to be beautiful. These theories can compartmentalize any artwork but what is art really?
Most of us are beaten over the head with tons of visual imagery everyday by what's called commercial art or graphic design, which we have little if any education on the subject thereof.
Public schools today don't teach theories or philosophies to define visual things. In fact the general public is very much estranged from the academia of art hence deserting it's intellectuals. And so we're left to interpret a vast visual world using crude notions based on whatever is commercial, repetitive or if it simply resonates with us on a some basic level. We believe photorealism and/or large scale art equals sophistication. We're convinced that western art is more distinguished or meaningful than non-western artwork. And these are absurdities.
Art is so much more than something created in a medium using some style. It is more than a big size and having an origin in some place. And short of Plato's historical reverence, art does not have to be an imitation of an imitation. I challenge you to see that art is symbolism, psychology, action, historical record, civilization, science and last but not least, imagination. Art is the breadth of all these things and the depth of your views concerning them. Art is what differentiates animal from mankind and mankind from Gods. Good luck on your personal journey.