Aesthetics - What is art? "Aestheticism is a search after the signs of the beautiful. It is the science of the beautiful through which men seek the correlation of the arts. It is, to speak more exactly, the search after the secret of life.“ Oscar Wilde.
John Ruskin, Wilde’s teacher … believed that art should communicate truth above all things. However, This could not be revealed by mere display of skill, and must be an expression of the artist's whole moral outlook “Music when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order, and when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.”John Ruskin
:Every good composition is above all a work of abstraction. All good painters know this. But the painter cannot dispense with subjects altogether without his work suffering impoverishment.” Diego Rivera
Frida Kahlo The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.Frida Kahlo I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.Frida Kahlo
Piet Mondrian “To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual.” “I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation) of things.” “Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody.”
“Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Andy Warhol “Why do people think artists are special? It's just another job.’ “I do the same thing everyday. I go to work and paint. I try to turn out as many pictures as I can.” “I paint anybody, anybody that asks me.”
Aesthetic Movement The artists and writers of Aesthetic style tended to profess that the Arts should provide refined sensuous pleasure, rather than convey moral or sentimental messages. As a consequence, they did not accept John Ruskin and Matthew Arnold's utilitarian conception of art as something moral or useful. Instead, they believed that Art did not have any didactic purpose; it need only be beautiful. The Aesthetes developed a cult of beauty, which they considered the basic factor of art. Life should copy Art, they asserted. They considered nature as crude and lacking in design when compared to art. - Wikipedia
Wilde on Art “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” “The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.” “It is through art, and art only, that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence.” “All art is quite useless.”
But undermined his own philosophy as well… In "The Soul of Man", Wilde argues that, under capitalism, "the majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism—are forced, indeed, so to spoil them": instead of realising their true talents, they waste their time solving the social problems caused by capitalism, without taking their common cause away. In a socialist society, people will have the possibility to realise their talents; "each member of the society will share in the general prosperity and happiness of the society." Wilde added that "upon the other hand, Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to individualism" since individuals will no longer need to fear poverty or starvation.