Interesting question. Leaning on my experience as a poet / artist I think it does depend. WIth the question, I kinda' got stuck with "Or should they . . . being creative and visually pleasant". BTW . . . I like surrealism a lot.
Anyway, I think off hand art is very vast and falls upon that adage of belonging to the eye of the beholder. To me, the intent of art is social as it seeks an audience. But, that does not speak to inspiration, content, and context including historical. Historical can be yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Regard the artist's mission and social issues even simply being creative and visually pleasant may address social issues with perspective. Can we not ask if purpose may be healing social issues with a force and energy at the cosmic level? In other words, the inspiration was experiencing in some context a social issue(s) in its completeness. Perhaps the artist is inspired to record the issue openly and/or present resolve abstractly or concretely.
Let's play a little. A sea of fully grown wheat bending in a summer wind while the surrounding foothills are beneath shadows of slightly darkened clouds. There are signs they are beginning to shower as the sun sets in the distance. It is presented gracefully and with contrasting colors, but blend at the borders. Perhaps the eye of the beholder sees beauty as pleasant.
But, perhaps the inspiration was social issues. The wheat is the people bending to the forces of poverty, government, and taxes while in the distance hope fades away. Darkness is arriving with approaching political divide and social unrest.
But, what of the experience? Truly seems to belong to the eye of the beholder. But, what of artist intent. The artist, too, is a beholder. I fall back on inspiration, content, and context including historical.
What of art in this millennium? I can't wait to experience it . . .