Friday, April 11, 2008
Rodin on Beauty
Santa Teresita is a - well, how should I say it politely - pretty ugly part of Guadalajara. But that does not mean that beauty cannot be found there.
I had been invited to participate in a water color show and, even though I am an oil painter, I accepted.
My aim was to stay away as far as possible from the artificially sweetened, the pretty, from what´s commonly perceived as beautiful. I looked around for a subject that the other participants would not consider worthy. I found it in the tangle of telephone cables and electrical wires strung between the roofless houses of this part of town.
And I could not help remembering a passage I read in a wonderful book, called "On Art and Artists", published by Philosophical Library, New York, which is a summary of interviews given by the great Auguste Rodin, in which he says - and I quote: "..... In short, Beauty is everywhere. It is not she that is lacking to our eye, but our eyes which fail to perceive her. Beauty is character and expression." In another chapter he offers this: "There is nothing ugly in art except that which is without character,....... And that which is considered ugly in nature often presents more character than that which is termed beautiful......"
I recommend this book to everyone who does creative work.