Friday, January 14, 2011

Inspired: Abstract Sense of Beauty

"We live in an age when people treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography. We have lost the abstract sense of beauty."
~ Oscar Wilde
Sometimes people talk to me about art, about fashion: "I don't get it! It's not even pretty! No one walks like that! Who would want to buy that?!"  And I can't answer quick enough, "Oh, no no no! It's not about that! You got it all wrong." 
See, it's not about pretty, it's not about nice and it's definitely not about being realistic. 
Fashion (and fashion photography) is a form of artistic expression (pop culture is conformity, but fashion, in its pure form is indeed art). Art depicts an alternative world. It may be a world of perfect symmetry and divine beauty (is that real?). It may be a wold of grotesquely wretched forms and sad silhouettes. It's supposed to convey a feeling, describe a fear, or a fantasy.
Art that simply ruminates the same reality over and over again is not even worth being called art. It is boring at best. 

Remember when we were kids? Remember how fascinated with fairy-tales we were? We did not question if it made sense or not. We didn't think "no one does that in real life". Now we go to the movies to have the guys sitting behind us spoil it all, saying, "Hey man, I'm a pilot. You can't do that with a  plane..." and go about describing the physics of it all. Hey, shut up Captain, sir! I just want to be told a story here. I don't want a lesson in physics (after all it's fiction - get it - not a documentary).

Well, to perceive art and appreciate it you need to have that "child-like" sense of marvelous contemplation and ability to see an alternative world. Just relax and let the artist tell you a story. You don't have to judge, or understand, you just have to take it all in.

Here are some images that you wouldn't necessarily describe as "Oh so pretty", but take it as an exercise in the abstract sense of beauty.



Image Sources: {1} Aitken Jolly; {2,8,15} Ditte Isager; {3,9,12,13} Justin Cooper; {4} Maude Arsenault; {5,10} Gemma Comas; {6,7} Carl Bengtsson;  {11,14} Max Cardelli; {16} Mark Abraham; {17} Andreas Öhlund via Fashion Gone Rogue; {18} Olivia Graham; {19} Annie Schlechter; {20} Stephen Shore; {21} Tim Walker; {22} Jacques Olivar via Fashion Gone Rogue.

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