Confessions of an aesthetic addict.
I sometimes get feedback that suggests that the average art viewer won’t look past my use of aesthetics and simply move on.
There is a general consensus that making things aesthetic will stop a lot of viewers from thinking about what they are looking at. “Pretty things are not thought provoking.” I absolutely and fundamentally disagree with that. Aesthetics does not contrast or block concepts or force you to be intellectually passive when viewing something. To be honest I think this is kind of offensive. It blatantly under estimates you.. the viewer/reader and simplifies the concept of thought. It implies that unless I visually scream at you with overly obvious images that show concepts that are not too complicated or pretty you will not stop to think about it. How ever fun it would be to make a commercial about the metaphysical implications of our biological existence that’s simply not what I do.
One example about the importance of aesthetics is that I would never consciously put a melancholy disposition towards biology in any visual work but when looking back on a piece it’s obvious that when I allow aesthetics in my work it gives me room to use my intuition that makes it very visible that I am a bit melancholy. This, I think is awesome because a lot of people relate to it. Being conscious of the metaphysical implications of biology would and always has made people melancholy.
Just as aesthetics are not contrasted to concept, neither are intuition and emotion the opposite of rational thought. Intuition is an extension of rational thought and that simply doesn’t work without allowing expression and emotion while making visual work. In my case expression and emotion can only find room if I allow my self to use aesthetics in my work. Without it the visual parts and symbolism in my work would be meaningless and just not very good.
Besides all this, I really think literal interpretation and underlying concepts are highly overrated and “explaining” a piece of art always feels like explaining a joke in that any emotional reaction immediately dies with it. For me the intuitive part in art is the thing that makes it necessary. It’s the thing that won’t fit in words. So my work will always be aesthetic and please feel free to not consciously think a thing while looking at it.