>All art is designed to please someone, even if it's only the person who made it.
Not necessarily. There is plenty of art that can disturb, upset, instill fear, disgust, etc. It's not the goal of art to please or cause enjoyment. Art CAN be enjoyed, but only because of what that particular piece of art is, rather than what art, in itself, is. Art, like anything else in life, can evoke all sorts of experiences, pleasant or not, and that's the point.
>Is it really a great achievement if a work of art is like a clod of dirt?
Nothing wrong with appreciating a clod of dirt. Like any creation of God, even a clod of dirt is an infinite fractal of detail that can be examined forever. Novels can be written about a clod of dirt.
>How is something less a divine creation if it has some utility? God made nearly everything with some utility. The most beautiful mountain also serves to collect precipitation across many years, and then ensure a steady distribution of it back to mankind
I think you misunderstood my point. It's not that things that have utility can't be art, or that art can't have utility. After all, you can burn a painting and extract heat from it. Rather, art is not defined by its utility. A river, as a thing in itself, is simply a river. A river, as a source of water, is a utility. AS A UTILITY, a river has no categorical distinction from a faucet. But as a thing in itself, a river is completely different from a faucet. The very notion of utility is anthropocentric. Utility for whom? And for what purpose? Those questions only make sense if you assume that the river was put there with humans in mind. In reality, the river is simply there.
What I should elaborate on is "art for artists" isn't meant some kind of elitarian class divide, but rather an approach to experiencing art. Ideally, an observer would put as much effort into understanding art as the artist did to create it, and appreciate it on the same level: as simply art, rather than a commodity, a tool, or something to put into a fireplace to extract heat from it. You can't read a book without opening it. And you can't expect to experience art without putting something in. >>15406
>you claim that art creates the world in itself, or at least creates a part of the world which doesn't necessary intersect the rest of it
Hm, no, rather, I posit that art creates more of reality itself, expanding it. Whereas escapism hides from reality, escaping it (duh). You could say that art is the act of confronting reality/truth, while escapism is stagnation in the expected/comfortable/familiar. After all, escapism wouldn't be alluring if the experience was uncomfortable, and both creating and experiencing art are uncomfortable in the sense that they entail venturing outside the boundaries of the known.