Art is something we do, a verb. Art is an expression of our thoughts, emotions, intuitions, and desires, but it is even more personal than that: it’s about sharing the way we experience the world, which for many is an extension of personality. It is the communication of intimate concepts that cannot be faithfully portrayed by words alone. And because words alone are not enough, we must find some other vehicle to carry our intent. But the content that we instill on or in our chosen media is not in itself the art. Art is to be found in how the media is used, the way in which the content is expressed.
What then is beauty? Beauty is much more than cosmetic: it is not about prettiness. There are plenty of pretty pictures available at the neighborhood home furnishing store; but these we might not refer to as beautiful; and it is not difficult to find works of artistic expression that we might agree are beautiful that are not necessarily pretty. Beauty is rather a measure of affect, a measure of emotion. In the context of art, beauty is the gauge of successful communication between participants – the conveyance of a concept between the artist and the perceiver. Beautiful art is successful in portraying the artist’s most profound intended emotions, the desired concepts, whether they be pretty and bright, or dark and sinister. But neither the artist nor the observer can be certain of successful communication in the end. So beauty in art is eternally subjective.
Wm. Joseph Nieters, Lake Ozark, Missouri (source)