Philosophy vs Aesthetics

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he philosophical and aesthetic aspects of art are actually compliments of one another not antagonists. One may create an exceptionally beautiful work and have it be meaningful as well. Those who draw and paint poorly (or worse - with willful atavism) seem to make unlikely bedfellows of the two.

by Charles Henry Demuth -1928 An exceptionally good aesthetic work can stand alone on its own merits as an admirable piece. You gotta to be kiddin... However, a poorly made philosophical work is unacceptable.

The first work, "I saw the Figure 5 in Gold" is a good example of composition and color. It conveys absolutely no philosophical meaning of and unto itself.

The second work "The Scream" by Edvard Munch is a philosophical disaster displaying the 'artists' ineptitude in all facets of his craft.

What!? This great work is
? NO GOOD ?

That's right ... it's no good ... it never was any good ... then, now, or ever.

Then why do people say it is good?
What they should say is that it is familiar. You see this particular work in every art textbook as well as many other works of similar ineptitude.

What the artist has done and which anyone experienced in art (myself included) can tell is unforgiveable. He has drawn a cartoonish figure - which anyone can do - and given it a psuedo-philosophical meaning by assigning a title to it posterior to its creation. In other words, any drawing whatsoever must look like something ... so why not name it that thing afterward ... thus saving yourself the trouble of having to translate your "idea" into reality.

Now, since screaming is the human thing to do (philosophically speaking - circa dadaism - post WWI), the "cartoon" hits the mark and Mister Munch is the man of the hour (as judged by our wonderful art critics). But no amount of misguided critical praise can elevate a piece of garbage to Louvre status. It can only fake its way if critics convince the public that there exists something within which is admirable ... but not understandable to the average Joe.

An aesthetic work is good if it makes use of all the compositional tools available to the artist.
A philosohical work is good only if it conveys something of philosophical merit and makes use of all those compositional tools as well.

Mr. Scream doesn't make it on
any level.



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