Steve3007 wrote: ↑
October 10th, 2018, 5:24 am
I have a print of "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch on my wall at home.
The various depictions of depravity and torture in it haven't yet inspired me to emulate them.
You are, I think, suggesting that there is a "paradox" in the sense that the ugly depictions of depravity, torture and cruelty, etc; in Bosch's painting "Garden of Earthly Delights" should, like the images of all ugly things, predictably evoke negative aesthetic feelings of disgust and repulsion in the perceiver. Strangely, the subject matter this painting contains, is material that we prima facie
do not like or find pleasant or pleasurable to observe, yet, despite this, many people ( like yourself, for example, Steve) still enjoy having a copy of the "Garden of Earthly Delights" on prominent display in their homes; they value this artwork and find it positively pleasurable to gaze upon - but how could this be?
The answer, I believe, is that although the images depicted in this this painting by Bosch may evoke negative aesthetic feelings ( i.e. the experience of a negative affection of consciousness in the sensation of displeasure/s of some kind, e.g. the perception of emotions of disgust, loathing and/or horror, etc.) what we actually value is the creative artistic representation of ugly subject matter. To put it another way, what you value in this painting by Bosch, Steve, is not ugliness, but the beautiful artistic representation of ugliness.
Do you agree ?
If you google up an image on your computer of a drawing by the French printmaker, Gustav Dore, entitled "Arache" ( "spider") you will see another (more challenging) example of what I am talking about. In "Arachne" we have what is, arguably, a beautiful artistic representation of a monstrously and horrifyingly ugly scene. Personally, I would not hang a copy of it in my own bedroom, but I can understand that many people would regard it as a work of art that possessed genuine aesthetic value insofar as they found themselves drawn to attend to it and enjoyed looking at it, in a similar kind of way to the way most people enjoy seeing healthy rose blooms in a country garden.
Human beings are also naturally drawn to attend to non-artistic, representations of ugliness, by which I chiefly mean images of ugliness (in particular of extreme ugliness) that are not represented in a beautiful artistic manner. Many people are fascinated, for instance, by internet videos that show ISIS terrorists actually decapitating hostages with knives. Many people are compelled by a morbid curiousity to view this kind of extreme ugliness; it seems to have the effect of being both fascinating and appalling at the same time.
Briefly, I think excessive exposure to un-redeemed, raw/ brutal ugliness like this that lacks any shred of positive aesthetic value in terms of beauty ( and I would include here, listening to the evil (profoundly immoral/ outrageously obscene/profane) lyrical content of modern pop music genres like so-called "Death Metal") is mentally toxic. This is, in no small part, because chronic, e.g. frequently repetitive experiences of extreme negative affective states of consciousness are well known to predispose those thus subjected to become afflicted with serious psychopathologies like clinical major depressive disorder (MDD), suicidal ideation/parasuicidal behaviour, panic (and other psychiatric anxiety) disorders, PTSD, and so on.