Is Art subjective or universal?  Is this image of the living, human, form found prone on the floor an indicator or eroticism, abuse or something else?


If we believe Art is subjective, and not commonly shared, then how can we ever agree what is worthy of celebration in galleries and in the public square?

Do we have a shared aesthetic for beauty or not?

Are curved forms more pleasing than sharp ones:  Do we appreciate the rounder female form over the angular male figure?

If we find beauty in Art, are we also required to find fear and terror just as attractive in order to balance out disparities in taste and humanism?

Should anything claiming to be Art ever be censored?  If so, do we go by the rule of the majority power or should only the preferences of the protected minority niche prevail?

If Art is cultural — and based on a specific and verifiable set of community-inspired rules, values, morality and trained intelligence — it is ever possible to grade, teach or judge what is, and is not, a protected piece of Art?

Is it enough for an artist to claim their work is Art?  Or must a third party — a distinct, disinterested and disaffected aesthetic — make the determination of the worth of the work in the marketplace of the mind, and its effectiveness in the imagination of the heart?

How do we reconcile Art with Reality: Is Art always truthful?  Or can Art never rise above the lie of the artist to independently and verily testify?

2 Comments

  1. Hi David,
    First hting first – I don’t really enjoy the piture – it seemed a picture of an abused person.
    “Art” is a medium/way to express one’s self – which is subjective.
    It depends on the interpretation too – the same thing can be interpreted 100 ways…
    I think the so called success os art lies in the ability to engage the majority.

  2. Katha —
    The image is, disturbing, and our training and our memories form the meaning and intention of the artist and subject. One person’s pain can be another’s pleasure. Our judgment of that fine line between abuse and passion is where True Art lives.
    Your point about successful Art needing the masses is disappointing in that you’re likely right, but to my mind, mainstream “art” isn’t really Art at all because no challenges to the human spirit are waged or won.