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  1. #1

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    We all know when we something beautiful. And, the occasional inexplicable fetish aside, we all seem to have some internal criteria in common: we can all look at a Picasso and pretty much agree that it is pleasing to the eye.

    But why? What is it about an image that makes it beautiful in ways that almost all of us see unervisally?


    dgh
    David G Hall

  2. #2
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David Hall @ Jan 31 2003, 10:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>We all know when we something beautiful.&nbsp; And, the occasional inexplicable fetish aside, we all seem to have some internal criteria in common: we can all look at a Picasso and pretty much agree that it is pleasing to the eye.

    But why?&nbsp; What is it about an image that makes it beautiful in ways that almost all of us see unervisally?


    dgh</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Ah ... so now we get to the easy questions. Apparently some sort of *Karmic* balance for the really enjoyable "How many boxes do we have" discussion.

    I have been mulling this over ... First, I am not at all sure that there is an image so "universally beautiful" that it would form a base for discussion.

    In general I am partial to Picasso&#39;s work ... but, certainly, not *everything* that he produced was "beautiful" - a case in point would be one of his most significant pieces, "Guernica". A *wonderful* work - certainly successful in terms of fulflling its "mission" - the portrayal of the imcomprehensible horrors of an air attack on a civilian population... but I could not, by any stretch of the imagination, call that "beautiful".

    So what WOULD be considered "so beautiful that everyone would agree that it was"?

    I have some *possibilities* - but they are certainly the products of my own conditioning .... Renior&#39;s "Torse au Soliel", LOTS of Sir Alma Tadema&#39;s work, Anders Zorn, Erte, Edward Westons nudes.... I have no idea where to start, let alone choose *one*.

    Let&#39;s see ... Possibly Boticelli&#39;s "The Birth of Venus"? Or one of Georgia O&#39;Keefe&#39;s flowers ...?

    Anything I can think of has, at one time or another been "slammed" by the knowledgable critics of its day.... and there are those who will not agree today that it is even marginally, let alone "universally", beautiful.

    Possibly the best critera we could possibly have to judge "beauty *IS* the "Occasional Inexpliable Fetish". posessed individually by each of us.

    Anyway, this will count toward gaining another "box".
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #3

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    Ed, I am absolutely amazed at the depth of your art knowledge. We will let that post count toward your next level on this site, and never bring up the fact that you snowed us on that one.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  4. #4
    Bruce Osgood's Avatar
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    I found an essay that I find inspirational on this subject:

    http://www.paulgraham.com/taste.html

  5. #5
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    Won&#39;t be wine, probably Guinness. But, after, not before or during...

    Beauty is something that attracts you to the extent that you want to be part of it. It is a place or something that you want to have as part of your life. I think that is the simplest explanation I can provide as to what makes something beautiful.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (dnmilikan @ Jan 31 2003, 12:12 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Ed, I am absolutely amazed at the depth of your art knowledge. We will let that post count toward your next level on this site, and never bring up the fact that you snowed us on that one.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    My apologies. Occasionally I get so "entwined" in the more esoteric questions (the meaning of life) that I tend to ramble. A little like looking up a subject in an encyclopedia, finding something else of interest, and losing track of the original subject.

    I did... ? I really did ... "snow" someone here?? Sheez ... I&#39;m better than I thought&#33;
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Joe Lipka @ Jan 31 2003, 02:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>Won&#39;t be wine, probably Guinness.&nbsp; But, after, not before or during...

    Beauty is something that attracts you to the extent that you want to be part of it.&nbsp; It is a place or something that you want to have as part of your life.&nbsp; I think that is the simplest explanation I can provide as to what makes something beautiful.</td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    The best definition I&#39;ve heard yet&#33;

    During isn&#39;t bad, either.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #8
    Aggie's Avatar
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  9. #9

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    Two studies come to mind:

    1) (recent) scientists discover that after 4 drinks, members of the opposite sex appear 25% more attractive. [your tax dollars at work]

    2) out of a random selection of facial images, the image chosen most often as "beautiful" was the one that averaged all the other images.

    There is a rhythm and pattern to the universe. When we experience that pattern in concentrated form, be it image, sound, or touch, it is "beautiful". That seems to me to be a common denominator.

    More electic tastes are idiosyncratic, and may be described as beautiful by a subset of the population, but the percentile classifying such works is smaller than the common denominator.

    For me, the answer is simple. F*** what others think is beautiful, what do I think it beautiful? It&#39;s a cliche, but beauty is ultimately subjective.

    If you want to make a living selling art, be average, that&#39;s the lesson here (average in appeal, not in impact or Pirsig&#39;s "quality"). But that doesn&#39;t answer the question of what is art? To me, art evokes emotion, and if you can evoke emotion, you have created beauty, ceterus paribus, and that is all you need.

    That, and 6 margaritas.

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Pixels per inch. Definitely pixels per inch.

    MTF curves--more beautiful things definitely have better MTFs.

    Line pairs per inch. The more line pairs per inch, the more beautiful.

    Dmax. Dmax is definitely proportional to beauty.

    Now flare--flare is ugly. The less flare, the more beautiful.

    Aberrations are ugly. The less aberrent, the more beautiful.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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