Aesthetic Value as a Function of Emotional Context, Description, and Evocation

1729 Words 7 Pages
Jean Michel Basquiat’s “Riddle Me This, Batman”, produced in 1987 is a Neo-Expressionist figurative painting (see fig. A.1). It was first shown in Paris’s Galerie Yvon Lambert. Two months after its debut, the piece exchanged hands several times, emerging briefly from private collections only to be snapped up at auction. Most recently, it was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for over six-million USD.
Mark sagoff 119
Million dollar pieces were common in the 1980’s. During this time, the price of neo-expressionist works increased steadily. In the market place of public bidding-wars and private sales it seemed that art no longer had intrinsic value. The ever-increasing prices of these works drove many artists to manufacture pieces in turn making
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[…] ‘Significant Form’ is the one quality common to all works of visual art.

‘Significant form’ is substituted for beauty for two reasons. First, beauty reduces to a universal, excluding its use as a standard. If beauty can be an objective standard, then it also must be particular, in that it can be known. If beauty is understood as an underlying principle, or essence of art that evokes aesthetic emotion—where essence is defined by “what it is said to be in respect of itself” —then absent of the predications that describe beauty, such as the accuracy of representation, technical skill, or impressive form, all that remains is beauty evidently. Secondly, people are apt to use beauty to predicate a subject absent of the aesthetic emotion that its presence evokes. Therefore, “any system of aesthetics which pretends to be based on some objective truth is palpably ridiculous <…>”. Using the framework formerly established, in conjunction with analysis from Clive Bell, John Hospers, Kakuzo Okakura and A.W. Eaton, Basquiat’s “Riddle Me This, Batman” will be dissected in order to reveal meaning, interpret, and provide evidence that this is indeed Basquiat’s masterwork (relate to other pieces)
However, before any analysis can begin it is important to understand the author and his ability. The works of Immanuel Kant, G.W.F.
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