Remember that the front you prefer may not be the same front others would prefer, we all see a tree differently. When you look at a great work of art, the things that move your soul may well be very different from the things that move mine. Thankfully the artist included all and not just what moved one person, in fact this may very well define what makes some work wildly popular while other works are not, appealing to many.
After reading this lengthly discussion, with no real validation of either view possible, I found the above quote strange. It has been said more than once during this discussion, and I seek further clarification on the subject.
My point of view, as I read it is vastly different than the above, is my point of view. As are the way I style my bonsai. I do not style my trees to please the masses so to speak. I create what pleases me. When I display in a public venue, I am endeared by those that saw something and thank those that did not connect with my soul. I have no agenda nor desire to try to come back the next year and persuade those that "did not see" to see something different in my work.
My work is to be taken at face value, and one can like it or not. I feel that doing bonsai to please all the people all the time, starts to get like work. The artist becomes a slave to the gallery, only producing what sells. The artist begins to lose his creativity and the art stagnates. All his/her bonsai begin to look like cookie cutters and the personality is lost.
I totally agree with auxillery pleasing views and will always strive to make my bonsai the best possible from the sides and back.
Finally, comparing sculpture to bonsai is really not the same thing. While I agree that in the artists lexicon, sculpture more readily fits what we do when compared to painting. While all the arts make use of the same tools and pretty much use them in the same context, trees are living. The sculpter has much more control of his medium, has the ability to take away or add to when desired, and is not held to the rigors of life. I've never seen a sculpture die during the two year sculpting process.
The closest thing that a sculpter may have to deal with in his medium that is akin to what a bonsai artist may deal with is those that sculpt in stone. The sculpter will have to deal with fractures, cracks, imperfections in the stone that may have to be integrated in the final design.
The sculpter though, for the most part, can make what he wants from the raw material. We are far less fortunate in that process.
Just one artists opinon, Al Keppler