In Artful Conversation  

Posted by Jude Emblem

Earlier this month while visiting with friends I overheard someone mention that something was not art. I had not caught exactly what object was in question, but I did tune into a stated opinion and that was worth exploring! While the conversation is more or less accurate, I have taken the liberty of changing the format to make it easier to read and follow. Enjoy!

(Approaching the opinionated lass)

I: So what IS art?

Her: Art is something that evokes a noble sentiment.
(Interesting reply... still needs clarifying)

I: What do you mean by noble?

Her: That which is beautiful.
(Aha! Now we are getting somewhere!)

I: So what is Beauty?

At this point a third member joined the fray and when no one could furnish a clear definition of Beauty, we headed to the encyclopedias. Alas, all we could come up with were subjective notions i.e. beauty is that which pleases the eye, beauty is in the eye of the beholder etc. With the notion of subjectivity on the table we return to questioning.

I: Do you agree that Beauty depends on the person/artist?

They: That would make Beauty subjective. Beauty can not exist subjectively.

I: Agreed! One person says something is beautiful and his neighbor disagrees. There is a clash of opinion and they cancel each other out. Beauty does not exist subjectively.
(Such fun!)

I: So, does Beauty exist?

They: We believe it does.

I: Then Beauty exists objectively.

They: How?

I: Well, from our knowledge as Christians of God, being the source of all Goodness, we know that since Beauty is a good thing it must come from God. As we are a fallen race we can not possibly know the fullness of God or His Divine Vision, so we look to His creation for some semblance of Beauty. We find Beauty in God's creation as intended and in the order that He ordained.

They: So Beauty is that which reflects the natural order of God?

I: Correct. And that leads us back to the original question at hand, what is art. Art for art's sake is merely the expression of an idea or emotion through a medium such as music, paintings, literature, etc. Meanwhile the best art, or highest art, is that which best reflects the visible order created and intended by God.
(Exeunt stage left)

This entry was posted on January 16, 2010 at Saturday, January 16, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Nice post.I LOVE socratic discusions.

January 17, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Thanks Thomas. I usually don't have the chance to have such discussions at my college, so it was all the more fun with my friends!

January 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Bravo! Very nice, Jude. I wish I could have been part of that... I suppose I should have left the piano and followed you when you came to get the dictionary! :) Next time I will.

January 18, 2010 at 2:22 PM

I wish you were there as well Agnes! Sorry, I didn't want to stop your awesome piano playing... Next time you will definitely be a part. Promise =)

January 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM

*curtsy* Merci, my faithful auditor, but I'm afraid I tend to get antisocial when I sit down at the piano, so next time be sure to drag me away for an amazing socratic discussion instead of letting me be a show-off. :)

January 18, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Ya! Another interesting, thought provoking post! let's keep it up people our blog is dying and I don't know what to post about!!!

January 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

SFG: Thanks for your nice remarks! I don't know that I would say it's dying exactly, but we should all def. make more of an effort to keep on posting. If you are reading an interesting book for class or had an interesting day you could write about that?

January 20, 2010 at 1:53 AM

good idea!

January 20, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Weeeell... I guess I would tell y'all about the play, huh. I'll just go do that. :)

February 8, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Some of the discussions here sometimes got bad tempered - enjoy anyway!

October 9, 2010 at 5:36 AM

"pulchrum est quod perceptum placuit"

(perc. or visum? anyway applies to hearing and poetry and music as well)

October 9, 2010 at 5:38 AM

Post a Comment