Design Fixation: Does Art Have To Be Pretty?

4/12/09

Does Art Have To Be Pretty?

A new photography show at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University, Syntax, explores the evolution of photography as a medium and its dependence on technology. Let me begin by saying that I have yet to see the show, but after reading its review in the Boston Globe, I started thinking about the relationship between beauty and art. An excerpt from the review: "Pleasure, at least of the pictorial kind, is not the strong suit of 'Syntax.' Almost all the images are stimulating intellectually. Few are exciting visually. Most are chilly, distanced, and about as sensual as software. Like software, they can be ingenious. But ingenuity has a limited aesthetic utility." Does the cliche "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder," hold true here? What if no one thinks that the art is beautiful? Even the artist? If it makes the viewer consider new concepts, can that be considered a different kind of beauty? Intellectual attractiveness, perhaps.... Read the article here: http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2009/04/03/photography_refocused/

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