Ontological Status of a Moonlight Sonata

I’ve recently been reading Arguing About Art: Contemporary Philosophical Debates and one of the first essays (about whether food can be art — do not read late at night on an empty stomach!) mentions how philosophers can discuss the ontological status of a work of art (what kind of thing it is), and in particular used Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as an example.  The art is not the sheet music it was originally written on, nor is it a particular performance (there are many of those, they also include interpretation).  One can spend a lot of time figuring out the philosophical distinctions of what is and isn’t art (though that can be fun, too; for instance, see here).  I thought that the subject called for a painting and while the title is a mouthful, making it was mindful.

The Ontological Status of The Moonlight Sonata, acrylic on panel, 24 x 18

Ontological Status of a Moonlight Sonata, 24 x 18

3 thoughts on “Ontological Status of a Moonlight Sonata

  1. Joy Kreves

    Andrew, this painting is truly inspired! Very, very beautiful, and moving, as is that music. I would love to see it while listening to that, my favorite piece of piano music (not going to get into the ontological status of that now)

  2. Jude Harzer

    Andrew,
    All of your work reveals a rythym and lyrical quality that is so refelctive of musical composition. This is no exception. They are also deliberate in their execution. I trust and know your work…if that makes sense:) I am drawn to the central rectangular elements and the whimsy of the red moving spheres. Glad as always that we can rely on you to inform us of the happenings in NYC. The armory show commentary is valuable stuff. I’m looking forward to hearing you speak on the 18th! Wow! It is here already. Talk soon!

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