Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beauty is in the Eye of the Lover

I'm reading a book describing an artist who surrounds herself with beautiful people (sculpted cheek bones, smooth skin, elegant lines, etc., etc.), because of course, she is an Artiste! She wants to be surrounded by beauty at all times.

Sometimes I play a game about beauty and perception: I look at a stranger, someone who is considered homely, plain, non-descript by the media standards. I concentrate, zone in, and immerse myself with a fantasy of being in complete and utter love with this individual. It takes about 3 seconds for me, and then reality shifts. The result? This "nobody" becomes the most beautiful person in the world.

I appreciate elegant and symmetrical beauty as much as anyone else, but I have a suspicion the Artiste, above, misses out on quite a bit of earthy magnificence.

Rembrant was not a handsome man, yet how we do love his self portraits. Alice Neel was a master at finding beauty in shadowed humanity.

Perhaps the trick is to fall in love.