Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

My taste in art ranges from classical to abstract. I appreciate detailed craftsmanship as much as I appreciate abstract figures and forms; variations in style, color and theme usually exemplify the moral, social and political values of a century. These stylistic differences also display how the definition of beauty has changed over years. For example, when you look at a Botticelli painting, the women are slightly obese [when compared to modern/waif Miami standards] and are extremely pale. But paleness and obesity, at that time, were associated with wealth. The poor worked all day in the sun and consequently became extremely tanned. But wealth was synonymous with beauty - two things very few people could hope to achieve in that point in history.

Having said that, I purchased today a beautiful print from Ft. Lauderdale-based Bear and Bird Gallery! The print -a recreation of an original painting by the Mexican artist Anita Mejía- is cartoonish. It's also slightly unnerving in its perceived cuteness and innocence since it involves a subtle undercurrent of violence [see left]. I truly believe that many people in my age group - the late 20 somethings and the early 30 somethings - are stuck in some kind of eternal adolescence. I think the decadence of the 80s and the introduction of video games and MTV seeped into our minds so deeply that we still cling unto to some kind of idyllic and 'the skies are limitless' past that no longer exists except in our own minds. So, it manifests in buying cartoonish art, collecting vintage Star Wars toys, watching 80s movies that you've seen 20 times before or simply by trying to convince your son or daughter that bands like the Flock of Seagulls or Run DMC are truly kings.

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