Oh, she was gorgeous - Georgia O'Keeffe and others

11/11/2007

Sooooo, another week, another beauty for you and me to feast your eyes on.

This week I found myself thinking a lot about beauty, after visiting the exhibition 'British Vision' in Ghent's Museum of Fine Arts and worshipping at the altar of 'Beata Beatrix' by D.G. Rossetti again.


The exhibition focuses on imagination and observation in British art. Somehow my mind drifted back to Ruskin and his idea that art is not a matter of taste, but that it involves the whole person. Likewise, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Who determines what is beautiful? These days beauty seems to be so highly charged and determined by what we see on TV and in the media, that I felt a breath of fresh air was needed.

So today, let's focus on atypical beauty, but still gorgeousness incarnate.

I thought of Georgia O'Keeffe first.

Famously fixed in time in all the freshness of her youth by Stieglitz, I find that her face is all the more stunning as she gets older. The wrinkles, the calmness, her hands: they tell a more interesting tale, of New Mexico, of artistic discovery and exploration and of a fascinating inner life. I love her paintings too.

Then my mind drifted on to another artist: sculptor Louise Bourgeois.



Again, a redefinition of beauty. What's not to like? She's obviously unique, a sense of harmony and balance emanates from this photo and yet her face does not correspond with today's canons of beauty.

And finally, I was reminded of this photo from a photo book by Richard Avedon.



What a difference between 'Dovima and the Elephants' (see Avedon website) and the girl with the freckles from his 'In the American West'. And yet, both are beautiful: Dovima's painted, almost kabuki-like face and the young girl's face painted with freckles.

So you see, the definition of beauty can be extremely wide-ranging... Everyone has their personal opinion of what makes a beautiful woman. In my opinion, beauty equates personality equates those unique qualities that shine through and that render a woman more than beautiful. Simply irresistible.

2 messages:

Siegfried said...

Is Louise Bourgeois carrying under her arm what I think she's carrying under her arm? Or do I have an over-active imagination! ;)

Looks like it was an interesting exhibition.

Lula de Montes said...

It was very appropriately named "La Fillette"...
According to Bourgeois, and I quote, 'extremely delicate and to be protected'.

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