Blog: Aesthetics and Reality in Art

Christine Alfery

Posted on April 23 2019

Blog: Aesthetics and Reality in Art

Featured image: Disco Lights

I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality.”
~ Samuel Johnson

I know of a chocolate company that makes the most exquisite chocolate I have ever had. Not only does the chocolate have an eloquent aesthetic appearance but the taste of the chocolate is exactly as I imagined it would be. The chocolates reality and my idea of the chocolates reality matched.

There are many times though when I indulge myself with chocolate that the reality of the chocolate isn’t anywhere near my expectation of how it should taste. The same is true when it comes to painting. When I begin a painting, my expectations for that painting sometimes don’t match the reality of the work. The excitement of the expectation and the reality of how it turned out sometimes don’t match.

Art is about this type of discovery, both it’s expectations and aesthetic appearance and about the reality of the work after it has traveled through many phases of discovery and experimentation is either yea it is finished or gosh this looks different. It is that comment, when I say it to myself when I finish the work, this looks different, that I realize I have created something I am uncomfortable with but others absolutely love.

I see the difference, I feel the difference and I worry that it won’t be sensed the way I sensed it. It won’t be that piece of chocolate I absolutely love but that piece of chocolate whose reality didn’t meet it’s my expectations of it’s aesthetics.

What a lovely experience art truly is, to have it’s reality and it’s expectations of it’s aesthetics line up.

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