Monday, September 21, 2009

A Beautiful Concept

Funny how recurring threads of conversation keep popping up, no matter the situation or crowd. At two separate parties, including the Post-Diversionist dinner (photo above), with two completely different sets of folks, the conversational theme centered around Art with regards to Beauty versus Concept. Had I been up to date on philosophical readings, I would have deferred to Kant and his view of aesthetics. The following paragraph is quoted from a wikipedia article on aesthetics.

Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of education and awareness of elite cultural values; therefore taste can be learned. Taste varies according to class, cultural background, and education. According to Kant, beauty is objective and universal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone.

Quoting wikipedia again...
Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. In conceptual art, the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work.

My own artist statement reflects my personal belief that without beauty, art is undefined. A concept, while often thought provoking (yet sometimes just plain baffling,) is, in my humble opinion, not necessarily art. That said, I'm working on a concept for a piece to be in Lawndale Art Center's upcoming Dia de los Muertos exhibit. I hope that, even though it is a concept, it will be recognized as beautiful, and therefore, art in it's own right.

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