Hill Publishing Group | contact@hillpublisher.com

Hill Publishing Group

Location:Home / Journals / Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science /


Exploring Aesthetics: Beauty without Utility in Harvey’s Fine Art Photography

Date: May 5,2023 |Hits: 6789 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Siyan Liu

1Jinling College, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.

2Salem State University, Salem, MA, United States.

*Corresponding author: Siyan Liu


The paper delves into aesthetic beauty in photographs of Cig Harvey (b. 1973, England). Using Immanuel Kant’s theory of “Aesthetics”, this paper will explore how beauty without utility is expressed through order, harmony, and balance in Harvey’s photographs. For Kant, order, harmony, and balance are the keys to the beautiful and what he called the “sublime.” And what Kant’s theory “disinterested pleasure” reveals is that there is nothing utilitarian about beauty – no useful purpose to the piece we are enjoying other than its beauty. The piece of art should be judged apart from any practical function, which echoes the principle “art for art sake”. This paper focuses on three pieces of Harvey’s photographs Frozen Apples, Rockport, Maine, 2018 (see Figure 1), Exit, Self-portrait, San Francisco, California, 2005 (see Figure 2) and Scout & the Jacks, 2016 (see Figure 3). Through these three photographs this paper discusses how Harvey works as a fine art photographer to pursue true beauty, leaving the viewers with a feeling for the sublime.


“CIG Harvey.” Robert Klein Gallery. https://www.robertkleingallery.com/cig-harvey. 

Cig Harvey. Blue Violet [M]. Monacelli Press, 2021.

Cig Harvey. You an Orchestra You a Bomb [M]. Schilt Publishing, 2017.

Cig Harvey. You Look at Me Like an Emergency [M]. Schilt Publishing, 2012.

Madeleine Morlet. “Beauty and Joy: An Interview with Artist CIG Harvey.” Teeth Magazine [J], 16 June 2022.

Risch, Conor. “CIG Harvey: Telling a Personal Story That Everyone Can Relate To.” PDN Online, [J/OL] 29 Aug. 2016.

Walsh, Brienne. “CIG Harvey: Through Mother's Eyes.” PDN Online, [J/OL]9 Oct. 2018.

How to cite this paper

Exploring Aesthetics: Beauty without Utility in Harvey’s Fine Art Photography

How to cite this paper: Siyan Liu. (2023) Exploring Aesthetics: Beauty without Utility in Harvey’s Fine Art Photography. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science7(3), 623-626.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2023.03.028

Volumes & Issues

Free HPG Newsletters

Add your e-mail address to receive free newsletters from Hill Publishing Group.

Contact us

Hill Publishing Group

8825 53rd Ave

Elmhurst, NY 11373, USA

E-mail: contact@hillpublisher.com

Copyright © 2019 Hill Publishing Group Inc. All Rights Reserved.