Saturday, November 27

An Error in Aesthetic

An aesthetic is a method by which we decide art is good or drek. Mr Stone's new movie Alexander has been panned by Ann Althouse and Larry Ribstein, among others. Mr Stone, beginning to anticipate that his film isn't the hit he might have hoped, is assigning its failure to a shift in morals in the masses (of flyoverland). However, he errs. It takes more than a "good message" (which point is debatable) to make art. You also need to make good art. And if Mr Stone, had succeeded in his artistic endeavor, his message wouldn't helped (or hindered) the success of his film.

This error is prevalent in much of Modern Art. Artists will claim, "you have to understand" what the artist is doing in order "to appreciate" it. Good art, be it literature, movies, paintings, or music must also be captivating on first viewing. It has to be appealing to the uninitiated. Artists will complain, that is hard to make it pleasing because it's so complicated. Well, excuse my ignorance, but I think that is a poor apology for not possessing genius. That is, in fact, the point of the exercise! To make a work that resonates with our sense of the beautiful. I don't care if I have to study you work for half an age, to "appreciate" it. If I don't like it the first time, I won't be very likely to give it a second chance. If you want to tack on a "important" message, that is well and good, but please remember the message isn't what makes it Art. The message is politics, philosophy, or theology.

(Hat Tip: Professor Bainbridge)