One of the fundamental goals of art is essentially about using beautiful things to tell meaningful stories.
But, beauty in itself is not just about aesthetic appeal. It is much more about expressing something that has a deeper meaning too. And this is where we come to the idea of “Beautiful Purpose”
You see, when Beauty it is presented without any deeper spiritual or philosophical purpose . . . it is shallow, and easily forgotten.
But, equally, if deeper meaning is presented to us with no beauty - it can be dull, or hard to relate to. And, in fact, the easiest thing in the world to ignore, is that which does nothing to capture our attention.
So, clearly, if we are looking to express something in the most engaging way possible — beauty and meaning must always be deeply interlinked. The compliment of each other.
And, actually, this also goes for artworks that present a so called “grotesque” aesthetic too. Or the kind of art that might be shocking / troubling / tragic / or emotionally disturbing etc.
While our own individual preferences may differ- there is no denying that these darker sides of life are equally important to highlight too. And, in that sense, Art can be a powerful vehicle for ugliness . . . just as much as beauty
Yet, still, even if we are presenting something hard to look at or difficult to experience — I think those same initial parameters remain.
It is only worthwhile to create a so called “disturbing” piece of art, if you are also trying to tell a deeper story too. I.e something that will bring about positive action in the future, or cause a lasting emotional change for your viewer, which may lead them to changing their own ways for the better.
After all, there are many times in this life where we must actively pursue something painful for a while, in order to gain some future good. Or when we almost need something drastic to shock us out of our negative routines.
So, if Art is always both a projection and reflection of our inner state, then, of course, there will be times when we need to highlight darkness or despair more the happiness and light.
But, as long as all these things have an underlying meaning — or, in essence, a philosophical foundation — then, that is when Art becomes more than just a possession, but an experience too.
And, to some extent, it doesn’t really matter in that sesne whether the art in question is actually traditionally beautiful or not.
Because, if used as a vehicle for philosophy or storytelling . . . it will always have a beautiful purpose nonetheless
Painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio