The Principles Of Beauty
Beauty like all interactions with the universe is about relationships, and relationships are about the satisfaction of needs.
Aesthetics are a personal unconscious warning system that operates on a lower level than consciousness. Things that can cause us harm or fear grow to become ugly, and things that are beneficial grow to become beautiful. Aesthetics then a quick measure of whether something is good or bad, but less strong than love or fear.
I look at the stars and I find them beautiful. Most people find the stars beautiful, or have no opinion on them. What attributes do the stars have? Stars can't cause us any harm and have little affect upon us. Those who ignore the stars completely might miss out on some other benefit, and people tend to err on the side of curiosity, which causes our instincts to like things that are harmless. If true, then people who finds stars beautiful are curious, and people who have no opinion on stars are not curious people. Only insane people who fear stars would find them ugly.
People are born with an innate taste, which initially represents the things the body deems to be beneficial; young mothers, indications of spring, cleanliness. These things mature and change as we grow and learn more about the world.
The relationship of beauty to art is symbiotic. Art can be beautiful if it appeals to the taste of the viewer, but art can also assume beauty, affecting the taste of the viewer. Art which appeals emotionally or symbolically can become more beautiful, just as people with appealing ideas, or an appealing personality can grow to become more beautiful.
Ultimately beauty is always pleasing, and so should always become a goal in art, but that statement is a double edged sword. What some find ugly others might find beautiful, and an idea, truth or insight can assume beauty. In that respect, any artwork that pleases the artist is beautiful to the artist.