Saturday, May 1, 2010

Art and Beauty

I read something very thought provoking today that made me wonder....

Is it art because its beautiful....or is it beautiful because its art.

Many artists look at 'beautiful' as a dirty word as it relates to their work. They want their pieces to be edgy, provocative or sensual. Beautiful seems almost a criticism. WHY?

Honestly, I have to think beautiful is what we all strive for in one form or another. Maybe it is in how you define beauty. I look at beauty as the emotional response a piece evokes in you. Something must pull your heart in some way. I don't believe that beauty is defined in terms of how "pretty" something is, but rather in your response to it.

Have you ever seen something so intensely ugly or wrong...that it is beautiful? Some of the photographs taken during hurricane Katrina have this intense beauty. You know that it caused extreme hardship, death and destruction and yet...the photos of the storm itself had a strength and intensity and darkness that pull at you.

I am going to keep thinking on this and would love to hear your comments.



KimberlyRies said...

Very provocative topic! I think that there are obviously different types of art and it all has a place depending on our mood and feelings at the time. I don't think it would be as interesting if all art had shock value or if all art was "pretty" to look at. I like being open to all forms of art myself.

Anonymous said...

Neither. Art is unique. It can be beautiful (such as the Victorian Book Locket I bought from you recently - congratulations on winning my heart like that, by the way, doesn't happen very often), it can be hideous. On the other hand, something beautiful does not have to be an artpiece. As they say: beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thus anything can be beautiful, but not everything is art. I hope you can agree with me on that one. While the only truly non-artistic example I can think of right now is a living thing, such as a woman or a cat (of which I've both found at least one beautiful and neither art), I am sure there are non-living things that can be classified as beautiful, yet not artistic.

It's all opinionated in the end though. There are various definitions of the word 'art', ranging from a select group of creations to nearly everything including cars coming off a conveyor. Still, in both cases my stance is true. It's neither art because it's beautiful, nor is it beautiful because it's art.

Even from the artist's point of view - as you state yourself - art isn't always beautiful.

I myself totally love the grace with which nature tends to destroy. Beautiful lightning shards ripping trees apart and leaving a charred split end of the world, a sublime nearly aerodynamic wave of 20 feet high obliterating a small settlement, or the serene wind destroying nearly anything whilst remaining invisible to the human eye, the only proof of her existence being the visible destruction in her wake. Truly magnificent.