Monday, December 10, 2012

Art and Beauty

“Beauty is an intangible thing; cannot be fixed on the surface, and the wear and tear of old age on the body cannot defeat it. Nor will a "pretty" face make it, for "pretty" faces are often dull and empty, and beauty is never dull and it fills all spaces.”    Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Often times when I hear an artist say that they are interested in painting beauty what follows are paintings of pretty women. Though not always so, still often enough, this is the case. I find that these images don’t hold my interest.  It is not always surface beauty that moves me but images that are beautiful because I find something familiar; beauty to me seems to be the things we all share and can relate to as human beings. It can be relatable, it can be interesting, but when it’s only about pretty face‘s and buff bodies it becomes worship, an acknowledgement that these beings are better than everyone else.

 I don't try to look for subjects that are ugly nor do I try to look for subjects that are outwardly beautiful, but try to find what is interesting in the variety of people that exist. People are interesting and some of the most interesting people are hardly what society would consider beautiful or handsome.

 Socrates, who was the opposite of the Greek ideal of physical beauty, argued that his bulging eyes and snub nose are better for seeing and smelling and his thick lips better for kissing, so therefore he is indeed beautiful.

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