Thursday, October 22, 2009

Appreciation of beauty

What is beauty? Generally we say she is beautiful to describe a good looking woman or it is beautiful to an object. But is it only the looks that the eyes see that matter? I don’t think so. Or am I looking at objects animate and inanimate differently? It is the feeling of joy that one experiences when looking at an object that can be described as beauty.

I had one such experience when I visited the exhibition of cartoonist Mario Miranda’s works few days back. What is it that made me so happy? Is it the brilliance of execution? Is it the humour? Is it the type of scene or objects he chooses for his paintings and drawings? Or is it the mixture of all these? I don’t know. I only know that I felt happy and I had no other thought in my mind in the three hours I spent appreciating this great artist’s work.

I bought the print of one of his paintings. It is of a failure [Hobo] leaning against a lamp post. There is such intense pathos in that picture that it is difficult to put into words. Again one should feel it as I felt it and I was compelled to buy it. Why did I do it when there were pictures which would have made me laugh which is a positive emotion instead of this picture which will make me feel sad? Appreciation of art need not always fill you with pleasure; sometimes the agony too is sort of enjoyable. I am tying myself into knots trying to explain what I felt. I hope you guys get the meaning any way.

I also bought a beautifully written book on Goa [Inside Goa] by Manohar Mulgoankar, richly illustrated my Mario Miranda. Those of you who are planning a holiday in Goa will benefit reading this book.


Anonymous said...

That's true, Doc ... its certainly the intensity of the emotion which something or someone creates in us that determines its "beauty".

Paintings are an example of how beauty can exist with the emotions of both joy and sorrow !

Cricket commentators like Tony Greig and Bill Lawry often used the phrase "You beauty ..." when they saw spinners like Abdul Qadir or Shane Warne bowl a delivery that completely bamboozled the batsmen. Proof enough that its not the average physical appearances of Qadir or Warne being referred to, but their wonderful leg spin bowling art which was the real "beauty" :-))


Anonymous said...

There is so much in common between Miranda and Charlie Chaplin.Their humour is mixed with pathos.You can keep seeing the same scene of Chaplin's movies only to find something new every time. Similarly you can keep looking at every character in Mario's sketches to see the something funny or sad.

Leslie said...

I definately understand what you are trying to say...about how art can speak a language that is real but hard to put into words.

Ironically, I understand this, and love art because of you. Thanks for helping me to appreciate this unspoken language of the heart.


My thoughts said...

The emotions that come up neednot always be he ones that make you laugh.They can be feelings with which you identify the creater of such art when he did that work.For example when he looked at that leaning figure against the lamp post he must have been so sad as to get the painting done and how he has succeeded in making me feel the same. But the feeling was not one of personal sorrow that I felt but towards that unknown figure the painter had done.