Forget “beautiful” and “aesthetically pleasing”–I’m tired of scrolling through images that all look the damn same. They’re “pretty” but I don’t want to see “pretty” and I don’t want to make “pretty”. It’s beginning to feel so hollow and contrived and and manufactured and dull and I don’t know what I’m saying except that it’s all starting to get boring on the eyes, this washed-out-white-edges-sparkling-focus-bokeh-heavy aesthetic.

I want to look at and create things that are kind of odd and mesmerizingly ugly, things that are utterly plain but interesting for it. You know? Like beauty in less obvious places,  beauty in bathrooms instead of on spiraling staircases, beauty in the strange and macab and the peculiar. Accidental, experimental, and totally debatable beauty, etc, beauty that I’m not even sure is beauty.

I think that’s a lot like art–essentially art, maybe, the heavier kind, at least. And it’s a trap I oft find myself falling into, opting for what’s “pretty” over what’s risky and then I end up feeling like a small cop-out. The tried ‘n’ true is safe but it’s empty, and though pretty might sell it doesn’t communicate. It’s hard to express, oh, love and grief and anguish in something simple and pretty, which, ultimately, is the kind of work that’s pleasing to the eye but not so much for the soul.

Suppose this can serve as just a light reminder to make art for myself, to make music for myself, to write for myself and to do so regardless of however it turns out. A reminder to create because I enjoy it, not to adhere to some amorphous notion of a safe and bland and crowd-pleasing aesthetic (blegh).

Sometimes what you make will be ugly and sometimes it will be messy but that’s a helluva lot more representative of the human experience than picture-perfect contrivances and so that is worth it.


2 thoughts on “Picture-perfect

  1. Terry Lewis July 4, 2016 / 6:06 am

    You touch on so many things in this short blog! Sameness is sameness regardless of how “pretty” it is. So much ‘pretty’ is defined by peroxide blondes, perfect teeth, boob jobs, tans, clothes that are in fashion etc. When pretty is defined by sameness, it may be pretty but it loses its beauty to me. Safe and bland is exactly that. Uniqueness has a big part to play in what we define as beauty, in my opinion

    Liked by 1 person

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