True beauty extends across the sacred and the profane. Contemplating a work of art for its meaning is often demeaning, because it suggests that its sheer existence is not enough. “Art is not a concept, art is a thing of the senses.” If an artist has done his or her job correctly, then the work of art that has been created appeals to all of the senses. The intended meaning is conveyed and also lost on the viewer; Paz writes that Jackson Pollock’s paintings “do not mean, they are.” When I look at one of Pollock’s works I hear music, and I taste the colors. I sense the beauty in each drip of paint. Pollock may not be one of my personal favorites, but I appreciate the work as an existence of the senses, and nothing more.
Aesthetic elegance is often found in the simplicity of form and function. This is true for science and mathematics and the nature of the universe, and holds true for design as well. We are told design can be artistic but it must hold a purpose. Often times the necessity of function detracts from the form, and it is the goal of the designer to find a balance. I respond well to challenges but my creative mind is often dueling with itself to push the boundaries of what can be done with a budget and a two-dimensional piece of paper, or an image on a computer screen. We are told everything has to have a reason, and yet we crave ornamentation as if it is a substitute for beauty in the balance of form and function, sacred and profane. Perhaps a good design can enlighten the senses the way a good work of fine art does, and can be appreciated for more than just the way it enhances a function or the message it conveys.