I'm wondering what people think about Art, and it's purpose, and what its goals should be.
Like, do you think there is an ideal goal it serves for the person creating it? Do you think there is an ideal goal it serves for the person experiencing it?
This is basically a spin-off message from the Da Vinci Code thread.
For example - take literature. What should the driving force behind the writer be? What goals should the writer have? Why should the reader be reading? How (ie, with what criteria) should a reader choose what to read? What shoult the reader expect to get out of reading?
Similar questions for other art forms - visual arts, music, dramatic arts (tv, movies, plays).
I don't think there is a simple black-and-white answer, and I also think that different people can "get" different things out of different works of art (which is one of the reasons it is art, as opposed to an expository essay). I think art can range from simple aesthetics to detailing what it is to be human, and human's relation to nature and to the divine, and can comment or attempt to reveal divinity.
I'm curious about what others think.
Insofar as what I've read on the subject, I've read some of Gogol's stories which deal with it in the contexts of stories. I thought he worked into his stories the idea that real art must somehow capture something of the divine, and that honed talent focusing on that goal is capable of doing so, but that squandered taled wasted on other goals (money, status) can never reach such heights.
I've also heard that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien (in his private letters) have written on this subject from a religious perspective, but I haven't read what they've said about this (with the exception of one letter by Tolkien in which he details his reservations about putting stories into plays and movies).
I've also heart that Tolstoy wrote on the suject, having previously been a secular art critic, and that he believed that without some connection to religion, art quickly goes through the merely beautiful, and thus in order to remain novel, must then focus on the grotesque (which we now see in most modern art - for example the recent student in the US who, on tape, tortured a cat with medical instruments for his final project) and the nonsensical (such as the Dada movement - which I personally like, but which I think does in fact say something about the human condition).