one of the problems in dealing with the issue of aesthetics is that, from the philosophical standpoint, it has been considered the least of the branches of philosophy - this, despite the fact that it is personal, that is to say, individualistic, not tribalistic, and thus really the most important of the sibling offspring of ethics... 'aesthetics [art] is the technology of the soul', Rand wrote...it is, thus, the visualizer of the ethics one holds - what one considers of FUNDAMENTAL importance [both from the artist's standpoint and the viewer's]... the application of ethics by the individual is the primary, from which aggregates of these individuals then proceed to cohabit among each other, thus instituting the politics... of course, this is not the way it has been viewed throughout history, but then history has been largely a run-thru of tribalistic mindsets - until such time as today's age, when maturity is being expressed by the growing recognition that the unit base is the individual, not the tribe... thus is instituting a paradyne shift of the nature of human relationships, indeed, of how to be human in its factual - rational - sense... to know how best the politics, one must know how best the individual - and that is where aesthetics comes in..
'the basic purpose of Art is NOT to teach, but to SHOW - to hold up to man a concretized image of his nature and his place in the universe... Since a rational man's ambition is unlimited... he needs a moment, an hour or some period of time in which he can experience the sense of his completed task, the sense of living in a universe where his values have been successfully achieved... Art gives him that... The pleasure of contemplating the objectified reality of one's own sense of life is the pleasure of feeling what it would be like to live in one's ideal world.' - Ayn Rand