On the illustrations of 48-3
I am neither a philosophy student, nor do I aspire to be one. I do, however, live with two of these specimens, and topics like ‘political reality’ and ‘hegemony’ (which I thought was spelled hedgemony), often dominate morning and dinner conversations. Sometimes try to add something, anything, to the discussion by randomly describing the lay-out of a book by one of the great thinkers which caught my eye scattered around the house. Colours, shapes and structures, these are things that do fascinate me, and how to combine them in such a way they create ‘art’. Wait, art? What is art? Does the amount of skill, of time, or the use/reuse of materials play a part in the answer to this question and to what extend? And what makes good art? Who is the judge of this and based on what? Based on emotions which are/aren’t exited, the societal relevance of the piece, the way it does/doesn’t follow certain rules of the cultural environment it is created in (think of the Golden Ratio, a mathematical way to create proportions pleasing to the eye used by many a famous artist). Furthermore, must art be ‘beautiful’ to be good, to be art at all? And what is beauty? Well well, look at me getting all philosophical. For the illustrations of this issue I used these questions to push myself as an artist while contemplating the designs. As a common thread I chose The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. It struck me at first glance as a classical depiction of renaissance beauty. Looking more closely, however, you may notice anatomical improbabilities, the elongated neck and torso and the oddly shaped feet. Her standing pose, apart from the fact that she is not standing in the inner part of the shell but the outer part, a classical contrapposto (an asymmetrical composition of the pose), is impossible to be balanced with the by Botticelli chosen center of gravity. Apparently in the case of this masterpiece, I don’t mind the deviations. I therefore experimented with different kinds of materials and invested a range of time into different pieces, discovering more and more about what I found to be ‘art’ and ‘beaty’ and what makes ‘art’ ‘beautiful’.