Art for Arts Sake?
Dear reader, before i begin my tirade of self assured blathering i would ask you to hold this question in your mind before you let your eyes scan further across the pre-mentioned text. What is Beauty? By which i mean what is it to you personally and also what is it to society? How do we view and value it?
Beauty for no sake except its own is the only form worth pursuing, when beauty has a dual purpose it detracts form itself, let me explain further as i realize i have launched into my thoughts without taking the time to go into detail. If a beautiful object such as a painting or sculpture or a fine building has a primary or secondary function other than to be beautiful it ceases to be so, and thus falls into the well worn trap of being merely practical.
Many people suppose that all beauty can have a purpose, A flower is comely to attract bees, as is a female to attract males at first glance it would well seem that every natural beauty has a purpose or a side agenda which was in place firstly thus leading to the need for a form of beauty, and so mankind emulates his perceived surroundings and assigns all beauty a sub-task for which its beauty is just the mode of delivery for its purpose or job. If this is deemed to be true then beauty must have no value in itself and therefore cannot truly be beautiful. Man finds it almost impossible to create something of beauty without attaching to it a subtle meaning or silent message. The human race feels lost and shudders to think of a purposeless universe twirling and pulsating in all its perfect majesty for no other reason than IT IS. A good example is Mona Lisa’s smile by which i mean the painting not the much later but also very brilliant movie, Back to the painting of the Mona Lisa, most of us rather than look upon it and say to ourselves she is as she is, we look for a hidden meaning in that most beautiful smile, a hint of sadness? a glint of buried despair perhaps?
Mans natural love of creating beauty is governed and oppressed by this need for functionality, a grand cathedral cannot be built for its own sake, it must always be in homage to a god or gods or idol, we view the beauty of women as the same in homage to another whether man or woman but hardly ever for its own sake. Monuments of old are scrutinized until a reason, any reason is found for the creation of something of beauty for why would man create beauty unless it had a hidden meaning? was symbolic? a purpose? and so man has limited itself to what it can create it has to represent an existing symbol, theology, mode of thought, house of power or cultural identity.
when will man ever create beauty for only itself to be beautiful free from the mental block and conditioning, to put the depths and intricacies of our minds and souls into physical matter without the constraint of needing to represent or be symbolic or give a message. We have sadly lost many fantastic and sublime minds to this mode of thought for example Bernini the great sculptor himself who most agree is a maker of beauty and pure emotion translated into delicate marble was still for all his skill restricted by this when he began a work he always started with a theme or thought such as pain, anguish, ecstasy, or a person or event, but never did he simply start with one word to guide his hand, beauty, his works are alas only a shadow of his emotional strength they are the hollow shell of the beauty he could have produced if free within himself, it is the same for many young women today in a different sense but no less true.
Many misguided young women nowadays shape there beauty to societies current perceptions of it or to the opposite sexes proscribed ideas about modern beauty sadly almost never does she view it through her own self effectively becoming a mere social mirror again a brief fluttering reflection in the flickering lights of what her true beauty is. Many advocate isolation to obtain a true understanding and eye for beauty, there is great value in this as being isolated you have no need of mirroring or projecting the thoughts of others such as the media or the fashion houses into your concepts this is why many monks and saints favoured hermitage it was much easier they found to connect with the pure spiritual beauty of god free from expectations or dogmatic notions.
All great people who create beauty have no sub task for example. Two women Cleopatra and Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra who is know to have been in spirit and body very beautiful is often viewed as ugly and immoral due to the fact that she used her beauty as a mere political tool, while Marilyn Monroe who once proclaimed she didn’t wish to be rich or famous just wonderful is for all her imperfections and so called dubious morals viewed as almost saint like as beauty personified. Showing that the only way to create something truly beautiful is to set out to do that and nothing but.
Anything else is a pointless endeavour a waste of many a magnificent mind and always ends in failure by being a shadow of what it could be. Let us embrace beauty for what it is there would be no limit to what wonders we could achieve.
Thank you for taking the time to wade through this article any comments whether for or against would be most welcome.