Increasingly, art is becoming either so esoteric as to be irrelevant or so commercial as to be reduced to a consumer commodity. But we can recover the foundation for true aesthetics
Artists are the makers of culture. They express their worldviews in ways that shape the worldviews of others. Because they specialize in making their expressions appealing, their visions and values are uniquely persuasive to others. Their works are artifacts that embody the ideas, the emotions, and the philosophies of their time.
In our postmodern times, aesthetics has, in many circles, taken the place of knowledge and morality. Questions of truth are resolved according to what people "like." Moral issues are considered simply a matter of personal "taste." These are aesthetic categories, which people now use to determine the most important dimensions of their lives.
Aesthetics drives contemporary popular culture. Entertainment has become the ultimate value, not only in Hollywood but in education and even religion. People define themselves according to the music they listen to and the aesthetically packaged products they buy.
But while aesthetics are very powerful today in influencing the way people think and--what has become almost the same thing--what they buy, creating objects that are beautiful and meaningful in themselves seems out of place. The arts, in fact, are in a state of crisis, as the rejection of absolutes undermines their own nature and value.
Read the entire article on the World Magazine website.