A Reflection on Western Aesthetics Theories

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Abstract

This paper addresses the concept of aestheticism in the African sociocultural space, with particular emphasis on how anthropological objects serve as symbolic reflections of localized beauty. These objects reflect the qualities of beauty within African society. What is the difference between the Western concept of aesthetics and that of the African? The seeming divide between these two concepts of beauty and how artists trained in Western countries try to approach this issue in contemporary artistic dialogues is the focus of this discourse. As a matter of fact, the Heideggerian notion of aesthetics seems to capture and conceptualize the pure understanding of beauty within the description of the African domain, particularly the Nigerian. Using the phenomenological theories of Martin Heidegger to explicate aesthetics from an African viewpoint, this paper examines the works of two Nigerian contemporary artists, Jelili Atiku and Olaku Abiodun, in regards to locating and appropriating their materials as the meaning of aesthetic in the African cultural context , and re-enacted in modern performances and paintings.