I recently came across a BBC documentary called “Why Beauty Matters” in which philosopher Roger Scruton explores the notion that modern western societies have actively rejected beauty in favour of sordid utility.
I find myself largely in agreement with his position, particularly with reference to modern architecture, which seems invariably to produce endless concrete or steel and glass towers that are utterly devoid of character or soul. Modern art (which I largely consider a con job of “the emperors new clothes” proportions) also comes in for considerable criticism, as well it should.
In my opinion, art is something deliberately produced in order to fulfil a basic need in humans for that which is beautiful. Contemporary art seems almost to turn this on its head, aiming to shock or confuse rather than to delight. Peronally I think that if a work needs an expert to explain it, its not art.
So my thought for today… Perhaps if there was a little more beauty in the world there might be a little less hatred.
The entire doco is embedded below.