Is beauty a necessary component of art?

Written on January 21, 2011 by Banafsheh Farhangmehr in Arts & Cultures & Societies

by Banafsheh Farhangmehr, External Relations Coordinator at IE School of Arts & Humanities and graduate student of Master in Management in Marketing of IE

A video “A Fire in My Belly” by artist David Wojnarowicz was recently removed from The National Portrait Gallery after protests by the Catholic League and some members of Congress. The video shows 11 seconds of ants crawling on Jesus, which regarding to Wojnarowicz, reflects the artist´s experience and pain of being diagnosed with AIDS and the horror of seeing his friends dying of this disease.  The catholic league considered the video sacrilegious, anti-Christian and disturbing to be exhibited as a work of art in galleries. I raise the question what is the factor which determines what art is and what is not art… is it in Catholic league´s areas of expertise to decide on it…

I wonder if a work of art should necessarily be beautiful to be considered art.  Is not art  meant to open our minds beyond our own experiences?… Is not art something to expand our thinking  although at times it is horrifying and irritating?


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