• Posted Oct. 9, 2011 by Lyency in Essay. Viewed 3850 times
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one can call a woman, a building, a piano piece, a fragrance, a pissoire, even a geometry proof beautiful. but do we know what is beauty, anyway? as a matter of fact, even philosophers seem to be challenged by the volatile concept of beauty, and in spite of all the efforts they fail to give valuable guidance to the public

in that attempts analytic theorists came up with the questionable idea of reducing beauty to a list of some attributes:

- fitness of the parts to some design (like rhymes do in a sonnet)
- variety in as many ways as possible (forms, subjects, texture, colors in an underwater picture)
- uniformity, regularity or symmetry, helping to preserve the character of fitness (an abstract painting)
- simplicity or distinctness, which gives pleasure to the eye to enjoy variety with ease (light and shadow effects in a black and white photograph)
- intricacy, which provides the imagination with the power of leading perception (iconic landscape in a north american national park)
- quantity or magnitude, which draws our attention and produces admiration, awe, and fear (giant panoramic color print of man-made spaces or events)

a great list of criteria like this one might be quite practical, it promptly translates into rules and recipes that one can repeat and use to produce “beauty” and “art” for yourself or for the consumer

however, the criteria based approaches of accepting something as beautiful provoke and amplify the aversions towards any “standard” of art or the “itemized” beautiful. this kind of academic thinking fueled the beauty abusing renegades and made those movements appear like dada a century ago

cut the crap!
let's play fair and real!
produce anti-art!
let's praise uglyness!

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    5 There are 5 comments, add yours!

    • #
      2011.10.12 Edited

      very interesting concept, but what does it have to do with beauty or ugliness? our sensual reaction to the world is a biological function, it has a purpose to find things smooth, colorful, well structured "beautiful". to claim that a a chaotic mess or arbitrary collection of things can be beautiful too is trivial, it only means that you are free to redefine every semiotic entity according to your wishes... a right that nobody ever took from you. :-)

    • #
      2011.10.11 Edited

      such a conscious attempt at achieving beauty (as for example following the list of "beauty characteristics" or trying to create something along the lines of some original beautiful object) too often results in kitsch
      and kitsch too often is (mis)taken for beauty these days
      beauty doesn't have to be pretty
      ugliness can be beautiful too

    • #
      2011.10.11 Edited

      oh... i see. here is the english text to the hungarian on your previous post! :-)

      a PAMPHLET towards ugly art?? from you?? hell, you ARE planning some mischief!

      but sorry, count me out. i too much dislike art and have too much ugliness in my life, i'm sticking to the platonic ideals. :-)

    • #
      2011.10.10 Edited

      OH... well this is just "fine and dandy" unless the guy lives next door to you! ;-)