Question: What is Aesthetics? Answer: The study/philosophy of beauty.
But what exactly is beauty? Beauty is subjective. It changes from culture to culture, era to era, person to person, so how can we really say what beauty truly is?
But what exactly is beauty? In general, when we refer to what is beautiful, or “aesthetically pleasing” we are referring to something that is visually appealing. So, would you say the artwork you see above is “aesthetically pleasing?
What are we looking at? Here are the facts and a few different views of the artwork. . .
What are we looking at? Artist name: Damien Hirst Date of creation: 1990 Title: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living Medium: Dead tiger shark, glass box filled with formaldehyde
What is its form? Form or formalism will be an important component in our course. Formalism is the visual design or composition of the artwork. Here the form/formalism can be described as a large glass case filled with green tinted liquid. The shark is life-sized, floating in the center of the case, his jaws are open and his body is both rounded and pointed. ***We will be working with formalism all semester – it is basically visual description.****
What is your subjective reaction to the artwork? For the most part, we initially judge an artwork on its form, whether it is visually pleasing to us. Subjectively, you will ask yourself: is this aesthetically pleasing to me?
How do you analyze this artwork? To analyze an artwork we also use its form, but we do so from an objective standpoint – basing our analysis on the facts, not on our personal, subjective, reaction. The facts that we have about this artwork are: 1. Its form 2. Its subject: what is depicted 3. Its title: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
How do you analyze this artwork? Inference: based on what you have in terms of facts, how can you interpret the meaning of this artwork? Synthesize the facts and try to decipher meaning. Ask yourself: Why did the artist choose this form? Why did he title this artwork in such a way? How does the title make me think about the form differently? What was my subjective reaction to the artwork? Did the artist try to trigger that subjective reaction on purpose? What if the artist had used something else as his subject, but he had used the same title, would the artwork have a different meaning?
You will now analyze this artwork in your first quiz DO NOT DO RESEARCH!!!! I want you to do your best to use the concepts we have addressed in our creativity readings and in this PowerPoint to interpret. There are no wrong answers in your interpretation, if you are using the steps and thinking deeply about this artwork as we have outlined in this presentation. It takes time to think critically – so think and study the work before you take your first quiz. You may only take the quiz one time.