Does art need beauty

I remember when many years ago, I went to Art Basel for the very first time, as I was almost in the middle of the fair I felt that my heart was shrinking, I felt like wanting to leave.

I came away disappointed then, as it was my first artistic experience as a then just starting artist on her path.


I expected to come away with uplifting and energetic impressions, with inspirations and with the deep knowing that art serves the heart and soul.

Since then beauty and wether it takes any part in today’s art has been a question that I kept seeking answer to.

Often when I see or read about artistic concepts, artworks and what their message is I feel disturbed. Our mind based civilization creates similar art and artistic expressions. It is no wonder that it allienates many people from art itself, when they feel that it pulls them down, disturbs them and gives no light out of the darkness.

As Eckhart Tolle says: “The mind left to itself creates monstrosities, and not only in art galleries….No civilization has ever produced so much ugliness.”

I believe that just as in any field of life, the intention of the artist is one of the most important element when creating. Whether that intention is about destroying, disrupting, ridiculing, or aimed at gaining attention for selfish reasons or it is about uplifting, raising a question, wanting transformation, giving a solution, inspiring, touching the human Being and world, is in itself the difference.

Whichever is the intention of the artist – pulling the viewer up or down – it reflects on the outcome a level of awareness, which reflects the way our society is as a whole as well.

When something that we see touches us, that core and center part of our Being, that is when art serves its highest mission. Art needs the soul, that essence which can be found only beyond the layers of egoistic striving and cravings that many artworks of our days reflect.

I believe that Gerhard Richter’s statement about beauty in art as having value and finding comfort in it is a very fitting way to desribe it.

It is something that comforts, brings peace whithin, uplifts and creates stillness inside and outside.

Beauty in our days is not very much in fashion though, not a trendy thing. People are rather seeking things that entertain them, that give them hyper sensations, shock them, of which they can talk and gossip about.
Beauty in many ways has lost its importance, values in our societies. It is enough to look at the world of fashion and the value of beauty it dictates.

However we cannot loose beauty, it is something that we carry whithin ourselves and strive towards no matter which part of the world we go to.

It is that feeling of when we first hold a new born baby in our hands, when we gaze deeply into the eyes of our loved one, when we smell the scent of a blooming rose or when we capture, flying above the clouds through the airplane’s small window, a moment of mesmerizing sunset.

When art is able to capture this deep set vibration, which can be felt for a moment and that lasts forever in our memories, then it captures that innocent beauty which can be called l’art pour l’art. It is then that art gives hope for the world itself.

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One thought on “Does art need beauty

  1. Ernst Lurker

    Beauty is not a requirement or criterion for art, creativity is. Neither literature nor music or any other creative output depend on beauty. The creativity has to represent a “step forward” in humanity’s understanding of the universe. Picasso’s Guernica is in many eyes not beautiful, but it is a work of art because of its creativity.
    Playfully,
    Ernst

    Like

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