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cuz beauty often...

falls short of satisfying.
the beholder.
and the possessor.
cuz its rarely absolute.

last night, for some reason, i was thinking about Art. yes, that big, gigantic concept, which is hard to define. funny how the tools that make art, and even artful things (books, poems, paintings, photographs, sculptures) can be easily defined, but art cannot be.

often people start talking about beauty when asked to define art. this frustrates me to no end. i'd like art to be just as often about ugliness or antibeauty as often as it is about beauty. why shouldn't it be? i really hated reading the ancient greeks while i was in school, but i do believe that their concept of catharsis comes as close to describing art as possible. that the purpose of art is to evoke some sort of visceral emotional response that helps the beholder (and the artist, for that matter) come closer to appreciating life. and life and emotions are often ugly and antibeautiful, so why shouldn't art be those things as well.

so then, i stumbled across this new york times article about a visual artist, ted meyer, who has recently launched a showing of portraits of scars. the article states about the exhibit:

"...you would probably be surprised to see the walls adorned with vaguely Conceptual-looking monochromatic prints featuring jagged ridges and blotches resembling some kind of late-Jackson Pollock experiment on loan from the Guggenheim.

"Yet their titles sound a lot less like museum labels than the check-in charts at a hospital trauma center: “Splenectomy”; “Lung Removal After Suicide Attempt”; “Broken Eye Socket Repair Using Bone From the Skull After Car Accident”; “Arm Reconstruction After Motorcycle Accident.”

"These seemingly abstract textures and surfaces are actually images of scars, many of them terrifyingly impressive and some acquired by their wearers with great suffering."

scars: what an unusual subject for a showing, but how intriguing. how antibeautiful, since scars are generally thought of those things that deform beauty. meyer applied ink the scars of willing subjects and pressed them onto paper.

the exhibition is showing at (where else?) the national museum of health and medicine. more about it here.

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