chapter  2
12 Pages

A new psychoanalytic model of aesthetic experience

This chapter presents a new psychoanalytic approach to aesthetics and creativity from the perspective of contemporary psychoanalytic theory, and clinical practice and research. It includes recent advances in psychoanalytic thinking and self psychology, especially an appreciation of the relational context of aesthetic experience and the role of relatedness and intersubjectivity in aesthetic experience. Several of the most important points of this new perspective are highlighted, speci®cally: 1) that the source and enduring core of aesthetic experience is found in early childhood; 2) that the special, idealized quality of aesthetic experience has its source in early experiences of mother±infant interaction; 3) that the sense of beauty is an aesthetically organized selfobject experience, tied to speci®cally maternal aspects of this initial relationship; 4) that the intense aesthetic experience known as the Sublime is tied to the relationship with and experience of the father; 5) that the violation of aesthetic organizations of experience is experienced as a sense of ugliness; and 6) that all aesthetic experiences and artistic efforts possess three dimensions of subjectivity: the intrasubjective, the intersubjective and the metasubjective.