Sunday, September 18, 2011

re: Can an artwork really be considered art if it does not [meet our aesthetic expectations]?

     To answer Sean's question, I would say, first, that what is aesthetically pleasing to one, is not to another, and vice versa.  Aesthetics, while a philosophical discipline and field of study, is an emotional response, making it very subjective.
     Art is a creative expression, whatever form that may take, and all such expressions may not meet our aesthetic expectations.  However, because they are creatively expressed, I do not think they can be discounted, and therefore should be considered art.

With all the subjectivity and emotion of art, can there be a real objective truth in aesthetics, or a true beauty, or are the subjective truths all true?


  1. While I agree with both of your points necessarily, I think there must be more to the situation that than. If art is just creative expression, and aesthetics almost entirely subjective, then any attempt to define what art is also becomes muddled in subjectivity. But I do agree that art should not be discounted as art purely because it does not meet our aesthetic expectations (In fact, not meeting our conditioned aesthetic expectations seems to be one of the things we like about discovering new art forms).

  2. I agree that "art is a creative expression" is a broad definition; I think it needs to be for these purposes, to get to the bare bones of the thing.
    However, if you further differentiate art into genres or categories, ie: preschool art, fine art, etc..., there would most certainly be more defined rules for each category that would or would not put an artwork in that category within "art," the mere creative expression.

    Perhaps if we look at art in a different way, it will seem more defined and less subjective: If the artist, or audience member, values
    himself and his work, and aesthetics is a way to value what might be art, then the artwork is aesthetically valid, thus art.