What is Beauty?

First – sorry for the significant gap in postings. I’ve been confused and depressed about what I’m trying to do and if I’m going to be able to do it. If it will matter to anyone else - and if that is even important. 

I’m struggling again because I’m wondering if I can do what I want with just photography – and I don’t think I can. But that means to do what I want I need to do more than simply refine my photography skills. I need to develop my additional skills. I spent some time on that the last few weeks and made some progress. Then I let myself get overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of what I’m trying to accomplish.

Then there is a philisophical question that has been bouncing around in my little head: What makes a work of art beautiful?  I’ve posted here and in the comments on other blogs that it doesn’t matter how you get there – it is the final image that matters. The work should be judged solely on the merits of the image, not how it got there. That was my reaction to the debate on To PS or Not to PS…

It sounds profound, and pure and well thought out – and it’s a bunch of bunk.  I hate to say this, but I was wrong.  As I’ve pondered that statement I’ve realized that we really do admire and respond to the effort and skill that went into the making of the work. The digital evolution has made it so much easier to produce high quality, amazing images. That has raised the level of, maybe not of beauty, but of qualitative beauty. To be great and significant, the artist has to raise her/his threshold, push it further.

So back to the question – what is beauty. What do we respond to? Why?

And I found the following talk on TEDS by Denis Dutton:

Virtuoso technique is used to create imaginary worlds in fiction and in movies to express intense emotions with music, painting and dance…

One fundamental trait of the ancestral personality persists in our aesthetic cravings, the beauty we find in skilled performances…

We find beauty in something done well.


One thought on “What is Beauty?

  1. Pingback: ExquisiteLines » Its all about the sweat and the pain

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