Critical Section

regarding art

Monday,  04/20/15  12:13 AM

the mystery of MiroI've been spending a lot of time regarding art lately; I've visited quite a few musea, and accompanied my daughter Meg on a number of visits to art schools.  Fine art, like music, is a great mystery; we humans love it, but it is very personal and the attraction is difficult to explain.  Why art?

Why do paintings by Jan Miro make me happy?  I cannot exactly explain, and yet, they do.

Twelve years ago I tried to explain beauty in terms of evolution.  I concluded "the way we humans use beauty as a classification does indeed appear to bear a relationship to the things' survival value, whether they be potential mates, objects, or ideas. This doesn't mean our sense of beauty did evolve via natural selection, but it could have."  Well that was a fine effort, but ... I don't know, there might be more to it.  The evolutionary approach explains how and why we might have evolved a sense of beauty, but not why specific things are beautiful to us.

the connection to Man RayIt is especially interesting to compare functional art to conceptual art.  Today I visited the Getty Villa - always fun and amazing - where the Getty's collection of ancient Greek and Roman art is displayed.  Most of this is functional; everyday objects decorated with art, or art made to record events and people.  Even the most beautiful of these do not move me, I can appreciate them and even admire them, but they don't connect emotionally.  By comparison I recently visited the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, which both have strong collections of more contemporary work.  Much of this art is conceptual, objects made as art, to communicate ideas and feelings.

There is a sort of connection that occurs.  We relate to the art, and the artist, when we understand their ideas and feelings.  I'm not sure exactly what Man Ray is trying to say, but I get the emotion.


this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained