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Beauty alone is not art, but art can be made of, about or for beautiful things.
Art emerged around 50,000 years ago, long before cities and civilisation, yet in forms to which we can still directly relate.
The wall paintings in the Lascaux caves, which so startled Picasso, have been carbon-dated at around 17,000 years old.
Mike Mallory, Everett, WA The fundamental difference between art and beauty is that art is about who has produced it, whereas beauty depends on who’s looking.
Of course there are standards of beauty – that which is seen as ‘traditionally’ beautiful.
An older brother who sneaks up behind his younger sibling and shouts “Booo! But isn’t the difference between this and a Freddy Krueger movie just one of degree?
On the other hand, my definition would exclude graphics used in advertising or political propaganda, as they are created as a means to an end and not for their own sakes.
Furthermore, ‘communication’ is not the best word for what I have in mind because it implies an unwarranted intention about the content represented.
Aesthetic responses are often underdetermined by the artist’s intentions.
Art is a means to state an opinion or a feeling, or else to create a different view of the world, whether it be inspired by the work of other people or something invented that’s entirely new.
Beauty is whatever aspect of that or anything else that makes an individual feel positive or grateful.