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  #1  
Old 07-08-2008, 11:56 AM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Chasing Beauty

I am a monk in the temple of beauty...never good enough, always feeling inadequate. Just when I think I know the muse she checks out.
I spend my days like this, chasing beauty in sculpture and dance.

The concept of beauty interests me. The ancient philosophers believed beauty was universal and humans contained within them an innate ability to perceive and want beauty. Harmony was the bases of Musically. This idea has been dismissed by the modernists but I come home to it. The Greeks thought mathematics was beautiful, objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. Quite a lot of architecture is based on this view of symmetry and proportion. There is something "real" there that I seek...I know it when it's working and when it isn't.

Another interesting aspect is the greek concept of beauty "being of one's hour" A ripe fruit (of its time) was considered beautiful, whereas an older woman trying to appear younger would not be considered beautiful. This idea of being of ones hour reminds me of Rodins sculpture. It was beautiful in his time and still is but the stylistic copies of his work cranked out by thousands today are not. Beauty to me means looking within us at this moment of time...so a beautiful dance is much more that symmetry, balance and artistic movement. It's about the dancers "being " in their moment...that to me is beautiful.

The biggest problem I have with "beauty" is it's commercialization which has lead to an industrialization. Objects or dances if you will are mass produced for the general population for sale. i.e. "dancing with the stars" etc. The ever compelling seduction into the materialism, the "cult of the individual" has lead to a self focusing away from grander concepts beyond ourselves.

True beauty is a concept seldom discussed these days as the market for it is not commercial and small. Am I alone here ? What do you think of beauty?

Giotto

There is something crazy in a culture in which the value of beauty becomes controversial.
Peter Schjeldahl (1994)
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2008, 12:56 PM
christy talbott christy talbott is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giotto View Post
What do you think of beauty?

Giotto
i think beauty is in nearly everything in nature, if you're looking for it. the most beautiful person i ever knew was my grandmother. she wasn't in 'her hour' when i knew her! but i honestly thought she was beautiful.

a painting i did of her
http://www.flickr.com/photos/portrai...7594402624072/
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2008, 01:42 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Beautiful work Chisty...your grandmother was beautiful in her hour..the youth worshiping culture we live in doesn't see the beauty in aging.
G
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2008, 01:50 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

I think nature is more awe-inspiring than beautiful, certainly there are facets of it that are horrific; hurricaines, tornado's and tsunami's are not beautiful to those who are flattened by them and left as dead, smelly, bloated corpses.

Beauty to me can be as simple as a day where nothing bad happens, but real honest to goodness old-fashioned wow that's frikken beautiful beauty always seems to contain a combination of genuinely selfless intentions.

And I don't mean selfless in a materialistic sense, everyone wants to get paid and should, I mean it in the sense that whoever is making it puts the art first.
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2008, 03:08 PM
christy talbott christy talbott is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

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I think nature is more awe-inspiring than beautiful, certainly there are facets of it that are horrific; hurricaines, tornado's and tsunami's are not beautiful to those who are flattened by them and left as dead, smelly, bloated corpses.
it's certainly true that destruction and rotting things aren't beautiful... but then nature takes care of it all in her way and the beauty is reborn, if we let it.

what do you think of damien hirst's work?

edit: thanks so much giotto for the kind comment on the painting. beauty is a great subject to think about. i agree about the mass producing of objects takes away their beauty that's for sure. you were speaking of dances, i rarely watch tv, but i saw the most beautiful dance on 'so you think you can dance' of all places. so tell me, what do you think of this? it's called the hummingbird and the flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wz_jEQPY2U
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Last edited by christy talbott : 07-08-2008 at 04:17 PM. Reason: wanted to add something
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:18 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

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Originally Posted by christy talbott View Post
it's certainly true that destruction and rotting things aren't beautiful... but then nature takes care of it all in her way and the beauty is reborn, if we let it.
Are you sure that is true? Destruction and decomposition are eventual processes of our shared world, personal spheres, and individual biological beings (to speak nothing of our potential spiritual selves). As an extension of our reality - are things like decomposition not beautiful as well? A biologist or meteorologist (for example) might think so.

Quote:
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what do you think of damien hirst's work?
Personally, I adore a good chunk of it.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:19 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

It reminds me of Prufrock, by T.S. Elliot. He's talked about ubiquitously like Michelangelo, yet a lot and a little is ever said.

For the love of god would be a splendid ornament fixed atop my propane bbq from Lowes. Cheap eats could be the new title.

Ho ho ho, well.. Do women really like that?

Pushing the envelope of the acceptable and daring the universe to respond is all fine and dandy and to me at least, ultimately futile. In that sense the exploration of death as a theme in his work is no more or less than anything else, which could be viewed equally as futile.

His work is obviously succesful, but do I like it? No, not particularly.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2008, 04:28 PM
dilida dilida is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Beauty at it's best is so fleeting it's painful. Those unexpected moments that just take your breath away, and leave you completly humbled and empowered at the same time. I understand giotto's never grasping the muse, and the being in one's hour, or moment. The artists who catch it, grasp everything, the gift of art lets everyone else share in it too.

that's my take,
lisa
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2008, 05:08 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

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Originally Posted by dilida View Post
Beauty at it's best is so fleeting it's painful. Those unexpected moments that just take your breath away, and leave you completly humbled and empowered at the same time. I understand giotto's never grasping the muse, and the being in one's hour, or moment. The artists who catch it, grasp everything, the gift of art lets everyone else share in it too.

that's my take,
lisa
Lisa
I couldn't have put this any better and I have nothing to add to it. Your observation is perfect.

Christy
I liked the dance....The concept is very creative..... While watching the connection between the dancers playing into each others movements I found myself holding my breath...just like Lisa pointed out. Thank you.

G
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2008, 08:40 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Hi Beauty is best arrived at or observed when NOT looking for it.
It pops up when and where you least expect it to.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2008, 09:26 AM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Why does there seem to be a kind of romanticized notion that "Beauty" is a rarified thing? Seems like a ton of it out there to me. Do individuals simply limit their perceptions of beauty with too many qualifiers? I would suggest that moments without beauty are far more fleeting than those steeped in it.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2008, 09:48 AM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Quote:
Why does there seem to be a kind of romanticized notion that "Beauty" is a rarified thing? Seems like a ton of it out there to me.
Amen! Like Thoreau wrote: "Only that day dawns to which we are awake." If you don't see it frequently, something is drastically wrong. Its called being alive.
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2008, 10:14 AM
christy talbott christy talbott is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

i agree beauty is everywhere!

but what lisa said was "beauty at it's best" you know, when your heart skips beats and you have to catch your breath sort of beauty, like an unrequited love, you just can't have enough. that doesn't happen often and that's why it's so wonderful.

everyday beauty. some people see it, some don't. if you were to give a large group of people a camera and tell them to photograph the same thing, something mundane, a coffee mug, a foot, doesn't matter what, a few of those people will see beauty in it and when the beautiful photos are viewed everyone will then see what the few saw all along.

my daughter is great at finding beauty. a couple weeks ago i took her for a walk pushing her in her stroller. we were walking on pavement, it had rained and from the angle the sun shone on the pavement it subtly glistened. lilah said "look! the road it's beautiful, so beautiful!!!" i never would have appreciated that if she hadn't.
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2008, 11:26 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

I once had a chiropractic adjustment that was so relaxing and regenerating, that as my face emerged from the table, I beheld the plastic wastebasket container under her desk with its simple blue painted flowers on a blue background, and outloud to her great amusement started praising the glorious beauty of her wastebasket.

In general, I love the beauty that I love.
I don't have to justify or explain it...just appreciate it with my gratitude.

I also like the Rumi quote, " Let the beauty we love be what we do."
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2008, 12:27 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Quote:
I beheld the plastic wastebasket container under her desk
Boy do you set yourself up Glenn. Sometimes I feel like a sit-down comedian. At least now I know the origins of your aesthetic opinions that I disagree with so often. Thanks for keeping me amused. You are priceless.
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  #16  
Old 07-09-2008, 12:44 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

We've gone this route before on the forum and I remember Cantab having the most advanced perceptions on the subject. Its very difficult to discuss because its one of those words that barely carries pertinence by it abuse...like the word "genius". I doubt that any of us are actually in the business of beauty, our secret (or not so secret) reasons for making Art should have much more to do with the advancing and deepening of our individual perceptiions, as they pertain to our experience of existing. One day Art will not be attached to any kind of "appreciation". It will be understood as the grand solution, the answering action, the physical evidence of the proper steps-taken or enregy utilized without waste. "Beauty is such an after-the-fact assessment that the real worth of the art - the part where you make it - gets lost. The unbelievable thing about Art happens while its being made, the ever-withering product is nothing in comparison. And this beauty can only actually be gleaned-from by one person...the artist.

So when I look at "the Raft of the Medusa", in all its glory I get much more excited for Gericault, knowing what coursed through his veins as he made it...and my heart pounds a little harder just thinking about it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:34 PM
dilida dilida is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Evald, so beauty, as a word is already obselete? I agree the word is so little, the feeling so big. Beauty really means "love", does it not? Maybe one day love will be understood as the grand solution.

lisa
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:07 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Quote:
Beauty really means "love", does it not?
That is the most profound statement written on this forum. I've only come across that idea once before.

Quote:
Maybe one day love will be understood as the grand solution.
Might that be called heaven?
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  #19  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:21 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Truth is beauty and beauty truth
That is all you (can) know of life
And all you need know.

Misquote Keats
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:24 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Chasing Beauty

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Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
I doubt that any of us are actually in the business of beauty, our secret (or not so secret) reasons for making Art should have much more to do with the advancing and deepening of our individual perceptiions, as they pertain to our experience of existing.
Nature is beautiful and perfect in itself. The beauty I am thinking of is that which we create. Creating beauty is what we do when we add or subtract material to a work...looking, feeling, thinking..using elements like grace, unity, the play of light and shadow, even love.... the process where we bring imperfect work closer to that state of perfection we seek. My thought is what we do this because beauty is universal and we are drawn to it.

So I try to surrender to that. Not think too much. Be in the moment. One small success can carry me through months of hard work.


G
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  #21  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:35 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

<<...at "the Raft of the Medusa", in all its glory I get much more excited for Gericault, knowing what coursed through his veins as he made it...and my heart pounds a little harder just thinking about it...>>
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The one thing we know for sure about the Raft is that Gericault did it to make $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and did make quite a lot. It toured Europe as a carnival. And men dieing and drinking the urine of one of the bossans because he was diabetic and had sugar in his urine after eating shark is a very Damion Hirst kind of thing from the peroid. So you see beauty in a tank of formaldehyde is not so very new.

Robert
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  #22  
Old 07-09-2008, 05:44 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

From the profound to the profane in the space of one post...
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  #23  
Old 07-09-2008, 06:00 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

Would you prefer a fetus?

RD
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  #24  
Old 07-09-2008, 06:08 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

I would prefer a fetus remaining in the womb until its time of birth, some hot water, and a side order of towels and blankets. Hold the formaldehyde.
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  #25  
Old 07-09-2008, 06:23 PM
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Re: Chasing Beauty

if:
beauty derives from love (eg; i love my wife and my eye beholds her as beautiful)
then that which we love and see as beautiful may not be so for others

beauty is a quality inherent in all things
then the aspect which we perceive as beautiful may not be that in which others see beauty

beauty has an universal aspect to which all viewers would agree that "yes, this is beautiful"
then this aspect can be captured in our minds and translated through our hands to re-create this thing of universal beauty

G
'tain't easy-but
go for it
even if the goal is unattainable, the journey should be worth the effort

I strive in my craft and art to create that which I perceive as beautiful.
Many who have seen my work perceive that which i have wrought as beautiful
Some don't---
-----perhaps
I am nearer an understanding of the universal from my struggles
----perhaps
We may never achieve that goal
----perhaps
there is no thing of beauty which is universal to all?
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