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The dialectics of life and art

[The aesthetization of life & the pragmatization of art]

Life vs. art

It has often been suggested that life is more important than art.

   The primacy of life

Some artists and philosophers deprecate the realm of art because of its aesthetic limitations. They maintain that the beautiful and the sublime are better experienced outside of the art-context – in our perception of the mind, of nature, or of the world at large.

   The beauty of the soul  

   The experience of living  

   The aesthetics of reality 

Life is art

Some artists and philosophers entertain a very broad notion of art, which encompasses all of human life. They observe that all behaviour is unavoidably expressive, or that any activity can be carried out with conscious creative intent.    

  Everyone is an artist

Art is life

Many artists feel that their life and their person partake in the aesthetic aura of their artworks. For some of them, the artist or his life is the only or ultimate artwork.


  The artist's life

  Living as an art performance

  A life as an art object

  The artist as an art object

Life shall be art

Some artists and social reformers aim for a society where art is not a specialized sector anymore, and everyone can be an artist. Some artists and philosophers call for a radical transformation of the nature of art; they envisage a future when art will encompass all of life. Some prophesy that art will be the ultimate religion, creating universal mystic harmony.

  Everyone shall be an artist

  Art shall encompass life

  Art shall be the universal religion