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GOTgraphic
04-05-2005, 03:46 AM
As thesis of sorts... :cool:

The more we know what beauty is (creator/artist and partaker/viewer alike) the more beauty-in-art will abound and the VITAL need that it is will be more realized, nurtured and propagated.

I propose, that beauty is the arrangement of various physical elements for a visual presentation, proclaiming a power and or ability. Thereby one becoming the viewer/obtainer of the given object of beauty, one receives satisfaction in some way, be it through mind, body or spirit.

The principles and elements of design that are taught in the many schools of art and design are the foundations of this arrangement of physical elements. There are principles and laws that govern beauty. I think the saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" only works if the beholder is willing and able to tolerate defect. However, I also think that if something were to adhere to the "principles and laws" of beauty perfectly, that it would lose its approachability, thus in a sense becoming sterile and generic to degrees.

Beauty exists in many forms (visually speaking due to the nature of the discussion boards here). It is found in nature, man made objects and in people themselves. It also resides in memories and the eyes of the mind.

As humans we have a dire need for beauty in our lives. I believe without it we will die, just not as quickly or noticeably as a people without sound engineering. The more people understand this the better, because “ugliness doesn’t sell” (Raymond Loewy).

The double edge sword to beauty is this. If beauty is the promise of something to be gained, whether it is life, spiritual or mental inspiration, power, fame or perhaps even fortune, and if one is the partaker of beauty and the promised aspect is not delivered, then that beauty becomes fraud. It was merely deception in one form or another. Thus the partaker/receiver whether they know it or not, has not gained and has been deceived.

I think that as humans we tend to in degrees fill in where beauty's promise was not delivered as expected. However that does not happen without conscious or unconscious effort on our part. In other words it takes work (mental, spiritual, physiological, psychological or what have you) to meet the demands of fraudulent beauty. But even then, the frauded individual (s) has been lied to and is slighted. It will have an adverse effect, one that I think will be one more destructive than if there was no beauty to begin with.

The more we comprehend and can wield the tools of beauty then better our works will be. In doing so the better the viewers/partakers will be as they (whether they know it or not) will be more profoundly enlightened for the good.

…thus, BEAUTY IS TRUTH

Your thoughts?

Stahlberg
04-05-2005, 05:06 AM
I think it's all survival. It has to be, nothing we are, do, or feel can have any other source, if you think about it. We started as slime, and a few billion years later here we are, shaped by only one thing - evolution. There's a logical evolutionary reason for every single little quirk of human behaviour, unless it's caused by some more or less abnormal malfunction.

From my essay on the subject:
http://www.androidblues.com/visualperception.html
Things we like to look at fall into two main categories:
Human - here are roughly four subcategories:
Anatomy - bodies, faces, eyes...
The reason here is obvious - members of a tribe or family need to bond for survival.
Shiny - We evolved to like the shininess of eyes, teeth, tongue, hair, juicy fruit, water, and that translates to other things like metals, jewels, silk...
Translucent - skin, flesh, teeth, food, which translates to other materials and objects; tropical fish, semiprecious stones, frosted glass, flowers, clouds etc...
Incandescent - could be because of the caustics in eyes, back-lit skin and hair...
It could also be because we're daytime creatures, and so prefer light to dark. So now we like any glowing substance, any strong color or light... Non-Human - for example trees, coral, mountains, waves, lightning, fire, clouds, wide vistas, intricate patterns (snake skin, birds, butterflies)...
(As some categories overlap, and many types of objects vary, some objects fit in more than one category) My theory why we like these non-human things is developed in the essay (but please note it's a WIP)

TorbjornO
04-05-2005, 05:56 AM
I think it's often very oversimplified. When we look at a person not only do we see their forms but we also see expressions. I tend to find what is generally considered to be flaws or weaknesses to be really beautiful; hesitation, humility, embarrasment, insecurity, vulnerability and sympathy are some examples while I know a lot of other people respond to confidence, ambivilence and invulnerability. Catching a human and making him/her attractive has as much to do with forms as it does with character.

Even with forms I think it is to some extent subjective. I mean some people find fat to be attractive. Whose to say they are wrong or that their tastes are evolutionary "mistakes".

Our perceptions of beauty are colored by so many things, like our experiences, associations and expectations. Generalisations rarely work because it misses the subtleties of the actual truth and it has the effect of claiming some people aren't right for not following the taste of the masses.

In the end it just seems so irrelevant when it comes to art because ultimately you have to go with what you feel feels right. Teaching how to paint beauty... I don't know. It seems to me that if you truly want to learn how to express what you find to be beautiful you have to mostly find your own way. I'd say a good knowledge of anatomy and attention to subtle details is essential but after that it's all you.

Stahlberg
04-05-2005, 06:48 AM
I think it's often very oversimplified.

I'm not saying people and beauty are simple, I'm saying the basics are universal. No one prefers scaly splotchy skin to healthy skin, for instance. Some people think it looks "cool" in a certain context (for instance in a horror movie, and there are evolutionary reasons for that too), but no one wants their own skin to be like that - unless their mind is abnormal.

Then, on top of these simple basics, our amazing brains build complexity and paradox. Culture, tradition, individual differences, all goes like a varnish over it all. That part is much harder to learn, maybe impossible, so I just started with the simpler parts, no big deal, just stuff that I wish someone had explained to me long ago. :)

TorbjornO
04-05-2005, 09:01 AM
Hi Stahlberg,

Just had a look at your link, my reply was actually mostly sparked by the initial post. I liked it, you bring up some great points. I do tend to agree with everything you're saying, mostly because it feels right what you're saying. But I guess that's sort of where I stand, you only have your own perception to go off of and I find grouping and generalising can be harmful if taken to literally because it closes your mind. I feel skills are good to teach, but an eye for what looks beautiful should ideally be developed naturally without rules.

Thanks for interesting read!

toink
04-05-2005, 12:59 PM
Hey, this is very interesting to me because although one of the most important aspects for me of my own work would have to be the certain mood and atmosphere, -a mood I want to share with people that i cannot explain with words- I have never attended an art college, simply because i rolled into the business back in the day when 3d was totally unassociated with art, and i really wanted to do 3d.

Sometimes i really wonder if i miss an important element that prevents me from being a "real"
artist because of my lack of concrete understanding in composition and lighting. And then again i think to myself, what is art and who says it has to be anything specific at all?

Usually I just want my work to get better and better but its all to do with my feelling of the picture. When i look at my work for example, its not all perfect to be sure, but most of the time the general feel that I want to achieve will be in there, and thats for me what people around me react to, and mostly positive.

Here in Holland though it seems as though not many people in a related business will say nice stuff about your work, i guess because putting down others work makes them feel less superior or something. This saddens me a bit and usually gives me the idea that it will stay hard for me to make my living doing what i like to do the most with out moving to another country.

But then again every "normal" consumer seems to enjoy my work. so that keeps me going.
I guess what it boills down to is this: If you have no concreet knowledge of art and what you are doing with your own work but you just "feel what works for you and what not, and people on the streets respond positively to it, does that make you an artist or does it keep you in amature status, or to put it in TorbjornO's words: doesnt it make you more of an artist to go by your own gut feeling then to follow all the prepaved rules?

Toink! (sometimes feeling the odd one out because of lack of art diploma :| )

GOTgraphic
04-05-2005, 03:01 PM
...From my essay on the subject:
http://www.androidblues.com/visualperception.html...
...
I'm saying the basics are universal. Thats also what I think.

Very interesting information on that page of yours Stalberg!

I feel skills are good to teach, but an eye for what looks beautiful should ideally be developed naturally without rules.But the rules will exist no matter what, just like gravity. We can overcome it but hasn't gone away. The more we know of the rules the better we become at manipulating them.

I was focusing mainly on the visual aspects of so-called beauty. Certainly there are countless other stimuli that influence people, such as culture, upbringing, environment, behavior, smells, sounds, touch, taste.... I don't have the expertise or the time to begin to analyze all that (even though its inseparable).

Realizing that the best tool is the rule, I've been working at better understanding what exactly makes something beautiful and something else ugly. Would beauty exist without ugly... lol. Why is something/someone of beauty more trusted than something ugly? Why does beauty sell?

The following three statements from some of my most admired designers have kept me questioning the visual aspects of physiology for some time. I'm sure I'll go to the grave still wondering. But I hope to be able to have the same grasp upon the visual construct as those guys did... everything they touched practically turned to gold, or so it seemed.

"Form follows function" (Louis Sullivan)
"Ugliness doesn't sell" (Raymond Loewy)
"Nothing is too beautiful" (Ettore Bugatti)

GOTgraphic
04-05-2005, 03:09 PM
And then again i think to myself, what is art and who says it has to be anything specific at all? One thing that I think has to be taught is that there is good art and bad art. Sure "art" can exist for the sake of art to a degree and it does. Just like music can exist for the sake of music. But try to make a CD of music that is bad and watch how that CD sits and brings in no money.

One of the reasons the "art gallery" was created in America in the late 1800s was to remove art that the masses didn't like, and give it a place to exist. The masses tend to have an odd way of sorting out exactly what is good and what is not. At the same time though, the masses may not give allowances for something "new" and "innovative" to be brought to light because they do not comprehend it, they fear it because they do not understand it, even though what that something "new" may be could be awesomely cool and visually satisfying and be so-called "good".

slaughters
04-05-2005, 04:12 PM
...There's a logical evolutionary reason for every single little quirk of human behaviour, unless it's caused by some more or less abnormal malfunction...There does not need to be a evolutionary reason, there just needs to be no evolutionary impediment. You can have a trait, and as long as it does not actually decrease your survival odds, then that trait can be passed along even though there really is no evolutionary reason or function for it (Appendix, Freckles, Beauty Marks/Moles, etc..).

But I do agree that you can drum up survival reasons for almost every beauty trait there is:

Large women, Skinny Women, Large men, Skinny men - There are survival based reasons for all. Most dealing with health and fitness with in the environment and culture.

In todays culture many find women with large eyes and large lips beautiful. These traits are also shared by babies and infants. Which came first? Did women develop these traits, mimicing the physical aspects of babies in order to evoke that instintive protectivness that most people feel toward infants? Or, did only infants survive, whoose physical traits are found pleasing? (I suspect the former, more than the later)

chadtheartist
04-05-2005, 04:34 PM
By reading this thread it seems it's more of a cultural thing than anything else. Personally, though, I think it's subjective, and not really based on any one thing.

John Keates
04-05-2005, 05:11 PM
In todays culture many find women with large eyes and large lips beautiful. These traits are also shared by babies and infants. Which came first? Did women develop these traits, mimicing the physical aspects of babies in order to evoke that instintive protectivness that most people feel toward infants? Or, did only infants survive, whoose physical traits are found pleasing? (I suspect the former, more than the later)

The traits might be related but we don't have to choose between one versoin or another for why they are there. There may be many reasons.

There are certainly cultural differences between people but there are also many similarities and the similarities often arn't as simple as we might think.

For example, the desirable size of a woman varies a lot between cultures/individual preference, but the wide hip/breast - small waste/hands thing is a universal. I think supermodels might be an exception but they are often selected by women and Gay men (John ducks).

The fact that there is a biological component to our sense of beauty stands out more when we look at other animals.

For instance, why don't women go for men with purple arses? Or eyes that jut metres from either side of their head? Or a huge, streight tooth?

All of the above are things that other animals find attractive and they stand away from what we are used to as humans. You could say that humans are completely different as we are cultural but our cultures are very limited in certain ways.

There are some pretty odd historical beauty ideals but when you look at them, they often have something in common. A big unifying factor is that of wealth. For instance, dark skin is usually found unatractive as it represents a lack of wealth and the necessity of working out of doors. This is still the prevailing attitude in india and Pakistan. I once worked with a pakistani who refused to sit out in the sun because, as he said "he was dark enough already". However, some people consider a tan attractive. In England, this ideal came about when the privelaged rich could afford holidays to places like Grease. These days, many people can afford such holidays and the ideal of the tan is starting to look like a left-over from the the eightees.

The idealisation of skin colour is an example of where beauty ideal can run counter to morality. I would say however that the notion that morality and beauty are linked is fairly universal. Again, this is probably to do with wealth as the wealthy are more able to adorne themselves with beauty and also promulgate the notion that they are good.

Stahlberg
04-05-2005, 05:11 PM
Why is something/someone of beauty more trusted than something ugly? Why does beauty sell?

Interesting question. Since we all do it or feel the temptation to do it, even though most of us try to fight it, it must mean it's one of those basic instincts inherited from evolution. One guess could be that we, as cave people or migrating australopithecus or whatever, found that we could better trust a stranger who was healthy and well-fed, rather than someone who was starving and/or possibly carrying a deadly disease. Or it's simply a case of 'love is blind' - we're attracted to someone, and want to believe everything they say.

slaughters, you're right, it's of course much more complicated than I stated, it always is. :) Mutations are happening all the time, most are counter-productive and wipe themselves out, but some useless ones, like freckles, manage to hang on. (Personally I really don't care whether or not someone has freckles, on girls it's kind of cute even, which probably is the reason why it hasn't disappeared.)

But I'm pretty sure the appendix served a function once, millions of years ago, nothing as complex as that appears out of nowhere for no reason... and moles are just a localised malfunction, usually caused by UV rays.

John Keates
04-05-2005, 05:24 PM
One powerful factor in sexual selection is a kind of self-fulfilling prophesy. We find people attractive when we know that other people will also. If we have a gut instinct that a person is attractive then this is a sign that other people probably do also. If you know that a person will be found attractive then you know that they will recieve attention from others and become more sucessfull and be able to choose from a wide selection of mates. These are just the kinds of people who we find atractive.

So you get a strong feedback which represents a tautology. Atractive people are attractive because being attractive is an atractive trait.

What sets the feedback loop in this way or that may be governed by cerain practicalities such as signs of health or firtility but sometimes the seed can be a little random.

Also it is possible for more than one strategy to work within the same gene pool. For instance, whilst confidence can be attractive, someone with less confidence may themselves be attracted to week people as they feer a lack of control. If they were in a different social position then they might find other things attractive.

yadayadayada

slaughters
04-05-2005, 06:37 PM
...slaughters, you're right, it's of course much more complicated than I stated, it always is. :) Mutations are happening all the time, most are counter-productive and wipe themselves out, but some useless ones, like freckles, manage to hang on. (Personally I really don't care whether or not someone has freckles, on girls it's kind of cute even, which probably is the reason why it hasn't disappeared.)....Actually, after I wrote that I started thinking of Beauty marks. Why do some people think that they add to a womans attractiveness.

Then I thought of something.

The contrast of a flaw like a mole on a face, actually draws attention and highlights the beauty of the rest of the face. It's the contrast which enhances the ideal. Much in the same way that a spot light in a dark room makes the rest of the room look much darker, than just the total absense of light would.

jmBoekestein
04-05-2005, 08:47 PM
By reading this thread it seems it's more of a cultural thing than anything else. Personally, though, I think it's subjective, and not really based on any one thing.
I think it's a mixture between the two. On one hand we have our genetic proogramming that we so desperately want and need to secure. Our so called livelyhood or whatever. The other thing is that our brains are geared towards group life and most zoomorphs are.There's room for freedom in that tastewise. But it has been proven that certain types of women are attractive to all men of whatever race. But they would all certainly prefer something familiar to them. Something which they exerienced in their childhood as comfortable, but that's subject to conditioning.

Having stated and read all these cold observations I would still like to say that I believe in something more mysterious and something predestined. The mathematical perfection of life wouldn't have come about by a bunch of 3 celled creatures randomly evolving into something. And no offense, a bunch of over evolved monkeys theorising wouldn't have made the building blocks for what's here now. I see proof of preordained reality and thus a higher intelligence all around me. So there is something mysterious to beauty, something is beautiful for a reason. I'm not saying however that evolution is not true, it simply is partly. Something must have been beautiful at some point for the first time though, it's not an accident. Not much is in my opinion.

Blahblah, I feel like a jackass. As to the Thesis stated above, I find it quite "beautiful".
But I'd like to sarcastically point out something, just for laughs, if a brain is stressed more by seeing beautiful things wouldn't it be overloaded and die younger. Not that I mind, I'm an endorphine junkie anyway. :shrug:with any hypotheses there must be adversaries, is it not.:D

jmBoekestein
04-05-2005, 08:49 PM
There does not need to be a evolutionary reason, there just needs to be no evolutionary impediment. You can have a trait, and as long as it does not actually decrease your survival odds, then that trait can be passed along even though there really is no evolutionary reason or function for it (Appendix, Freckles, Beauty Marks/Moles, etc..).



appendix serves as a soreroom of certain bacteria I believe humans have a lot of symbiotic bacteria in their guts,

freckles and such are left-over pockets of pygmentation from when we didn't wear any clothes and were constantly exposed to sunshine.

just a thought.

TorbjornO
04-06-2005, 12:21 AM
But the rules will exist no matter what, just like gravity. We can overcome it but hasn't gone away. The more we know of the rules the better we become at manipulating them.


This is what I mean, from my point of view, is a skewed perspective. What is a rule when it comes to something as abstract as beauty? What you perceive a certain % of masses think? Is that a "rule"? I've never understood the need for defining rules. It seperates people, it places a "right" and "wrong" on things that don't need those values attached to it. I see this as photography or writing. There's nothing wrong in learning principles that other people have found to be popularly embraced but it doesn't mean anything in the end. Your piece isn't any more "true" because it follows the set of rules established by people who have taken what conclusion they have reached and done something massively popular.

In my opinion, there are no such things as "rules". There are guidelines that we can use to our advantage.

Actually even with Stahlberg's article, I am keeping my mind open to that there might be one or two people on this earth who find the big black dots on white appealing. This might be an unfounded argument because I haven't looked into it, but weren't there dresses during the 50s/80s with very similar patterns? What if those designers had followed Stahlberg's article as a set of rules to follow? The danger with setting down these rules is that if you have someone reading them that doesn't feel they appeal to them, they will feel "wrong" because they don't adhere to the rules. This is dangerous.

It seems to be a very basic human need to divide, generalise and place into groups but in my opinion, just let it go. Let yourself develop your own sense of what you feel is beautiful. I find evolution to be logical but I am not going to close myself off to other possibilities by believing that our perceptions are only based on survival and procreation. It just seems pointless.

Taoists believe the greatest wisdom you can achieve is unlearning everything you think you know. As an artist in any medium I think this is the way to go. Perhaps especially with beauty.

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 01:06 AM
Let me clarify TorbjornO. When I speak of rules, I'm not speaking theologically. I'm leaning towards the philosophy that if the rules are kept everything is fine and if broke the results are also fine. But the breaking and keeping of such rules should be with the realms of skill, talents and on purpose... "it was meant to be". I see way too much hit-and-miss with the rebellious rule breaking practice that often results in substandard works that leads me to believe that for one to break rules, one needs to have command of them.

Just because we don't break the laws of gravity doesn't mean that we are any better than those who break the laws of gravity. But those who break the laws of gravity better be prepared for the consequences just like those who keep the laws. Its just that there are many unexpected and unforeseen consequences when laws/rules are broken (simply because the rule has for the most part been kept and exist seemingly for safety).

...
So there is something mysterious to beauty, something is beautiful for a reason. I'm not saying however that evolution is not true, it simply is partly. Something must have been beautiful at some point for the first time though, it's not an accident.
...
I agree. While there is a lot of room to discuss beauty in a theological sense (and I believe things of beauty are a reflection of the divine) I tend to stay away from those aspects due the volatility of such past discussions, which go nowhere fast.

There is a tremendous and vast realm of aesthetics that is yet untapped. The visual senses are the most quickly and profoundly impacted in humans. Nothing gets into a person faster than through sight (except for maybe stray proton particles, hah). Artist and designer are at this helm. Think of the power, mwahahahaaaa! ;) Seriously, think of the influence and the ability to move. Most people have no idea whats at stake. Good design/art is power!

Stahlberg
04-06-2005, 01:46 AM
True, our eyes are the first organ to fully mature, at only 3 months of age! That's how important sight is to us.

I am keeping my mind open to that there might be one or two people on this earth who find the big black dots on white appealing.
weren't there dresses during the 50s/80s with very similar patterns? What if those designers had followed Stahlberg's article as a set of rules to follow? The danger with setting down these rules is that if you have someone reading them that doesn't feel they appeal to them, they will feel "wrong" because they don't adhere to the rules. This is dangerous.

True, in the 60's they had art and fashion that was as difficult to look at as those dots. Something called 'Op-Art' took it to it's logical conclusion, created paintings that made you dizzy to look at. All I'm saying is, now I now why that makes us dizzy. If you want to create that effect, go ahead. I never said, "Don't paint like that!" In fact in the graphical arts you often have to catch someone's attention quickly and only hold it for a few seconds (advertising etc). So it might be a good idea to overload on contrast. In art it works a little different, normally you'd want the audience to look at your painting for as long as possible. Now, if they're physically unable to do that, you may have overdone it. :)

That Taoist things sounds deep at first, but if you look at it, it's just another chlichee. It has some truth to it in some situations, like when you're trying to learn how to play golf as an adult, from a real pro, when you've never had instruction before... otherwise, my advice is, just play it as you see it. Don't unlearn anything, if you don't see the need for it.

Concerning theology, I had a feeling that would come up. Just to adress it, so we can all drop it again: you can definitely be religious while still believing in rigorous science, the two are NOT mutually exclusive.

Jim, I think you're putting the cart before the horse - you can't have beauty first, then evolve the senses to experience it. A random attribute comes first (pick one, anyone), then a lifeform may evolve to find it beautiful.
There can be no objective beauty at all. Aliens with outer surfaces like raw concrete who live in dark caves and communicate with radio waves might say the same thing you said about beauty, but they would mean completely different things. Why be anthropocentric about it? Our sense of aesthetics is not the only possible one. Take an example closer to home; to a dog some of the most beautiful things in the world are dog-butts and rotting flesh. Subjects which are hard to make aesthetically pleasing to humans. Possible, yes, if we make it look like something else, or almost abstract, by playing with lighting and composition etc. But not in and of itself.

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 02:04 AM
...you can definitely be religious while still believing in rigorous science, the two are NOT mutually exclusive. I agree 100%.

Take an example closer to home; to a dog some of the most beautiful things in the world are dog-butts and rotting flesh. ROTFL!!! […must remove the mental image…] Well, I don't know what a dog is thinking when it finds such captivating interest in said subject, but I hope its much different than the beauty we are discussing. Besides, I think humans are on an entirely different level of intelligence than other life forms. Thus beauty is something on a higher level of existence. :D

Kanga
04-06-2005, 02:42 AM
If you want to use people then,...

When we are poor and skinny,... fat is beautifull.
When we are rich and fat,... skinny is attractive.
When we are dark from working in the sun,... white skin is irresistable.
When we are computer freaks sitting in offices,.... the tanned body is sexy.

But thats not beauty, its just fashion.

What are we doing?
We are pushing the envelope.
An artist's quest is to push the limit and go to places others are not equipped or too frightened to go to and bring back something that will enrich mankind.
True cultural riches are far beyond commerce so beauty sells is only beauty commerce has observed and waited till it becomes marketable. There is beauty in what we percieve as ugliness only we havent learned to look at it yet and we are told constantly what we must value.

Beauty isn't just a chick or a coke bottle,... in which case I would sadly miss sound engineering :thumbsup: .

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 02:53 AM
There can be no objective beauty at all.

Part of my original proposal was that there is objective beauty (not to ignore subjective beauty). Has anyone ever studied the proportional relations of the human body? There are many geometrical properties of the body that follow the golden mean (the ratio of 1 to 1.616 of the golden rectangle, the golden rule or whatever its known by. I learned this in a college math class. The art/design professors had no idea about these issues... other than the simple golden mean and how the Romans and Greeks use it to no end in the architectural creations... perhaps thats because I was educated at agricultural/engineer/liberal arts based university. Do they teach these things at a full fledged design school, like ACCD and or RISD?). This ratio-relationship is also found everywhere in nature and other life. Hence, I conclude that beauty can and does exist beyond our senses. We should learn about it, study it.

Stahlberg
04-06-2005, 03:58 AM
Interesting discussion.
This ratio-relationship is also found everywhere in nature and other life.
I think that's why we find it beautiful - not because it's something mysterious and transcendent, but because it pervades our environment and biology... it could signify growth, and I think it also introduces that variation-on-the-variation that I mention in the essay... A segment of a spiral curve (which is one way the golden mean works) is more beautiful to us than a segment of a perfect circle...

TorbjornO
04-06-2005, 04:58 AM
That Taoist things sounds deep at first, but if you look at it, it's just another chlichee. It has some truth to it in some situations, like when you're trying to learn how to play golf as an adult, from a real pro, when you've never had instruction before... otherwise, my advice is, just play it as you see it. Don't unlearn anything, if you don't see the need for it.



Well the point would be if you didn't learn it to begin with you wouldn't need to unlearn it. Maybe it was a bit of a statement that needed more explaining but basically it's about removing any assumptions. There's a big difference between feeling "this seems to work really well" and "this is the way it is". Having guidelines is great, having rules (stated "facts") isn't. A child learns at such a different speed to most adults, and to me it makes sense that that is the case because they don't make any assumptions of how things should work. They just seem to observe and imitate, and sometimes innovate. The more they learn that they begin to feel the presence of rules (assumptions), the slower they learn. Same with an artist.

While I respect that you read what I wrote as a cliche, it seems like a strange way of disputing something. Just because something appear cliche doesn't make it less true. Maybe if I had just stayed away from using Taoism as an example (avoiding the fortune cookie feel) it would of appeared less chiche. The only point I wanted to make was that every single person has different perceptions and while you can develop your own sense of what works for a large group of people, it's up to you to develop that. No one can teach you what is right and wrong in beauty. As soon as you state that something "is" you close your mind.

I feel I could probably write a lot more to explain myself, but no, I don't think you have to know rules so that you can know how to break them. GOT you mentioned that you've seen a lot of bad rebelling, well if there are no rules to begin with what is there to rebel against? I agree with you though that some people go against stated rules with no apparent reason other than to be different. My point is just that the rules are irrelevant. You claim the science of beauty is similar to the science as gravity, I don't really agree. Every time you drop a ball, no matter who's watching, it will fall to the ground based on the physical laws we are aware of.

I do know what you guys are going at though. It's obvious that there are certain characteristics more people find attractive. I just become very weary when people start laying down rules for what is, and isn't beauty. I just like seeing different people's intepretations of beauty. Same with movies. I don't mind watching movies like The Rock, but I love seeing different intepretations of beauty like Amelie.

Lunatique
04-06-2005, 05:48 AM
I want to inject something into this discussion that I think will add another dimension to it.

Taste.

What is good taste, and what is bad taste? Is there an universal standard? Does the rich, educated, and powerful segment of the population hold the right to set that standard more so than the average people? Does people that listen to classical music have better taste than people that listen to Britney Spears?

Let's take an artist that some people love to bash, and some people worship--Boris Vallejo. The people that love to bash him think his work is all technique with no substance. All that knowledge he possesses as an experienced painter is used to render cheesy, trite, and garrish subjects that have stiff and silly poses, garrish colors, and severely outdated designs. The people that worship him think his works are fine examples of superior technique and understanding of the human form.

So, who's right, and who's wrong? Obviously, both camps feel they are right, and even if art history takes one side over the other, it still won't change people's minds. Look at Bouguereau--art history wanted to do away with him for decades, but the people who admired his work fought against the mainstream and worked hard to bring hm back into the limelight and demanded that he is placed back into art history in his rightful place.

In the end, everything is subjective. Do we take comfort in that conclusion, or is that conclusion cause for perpetual agitation in difference of taste?

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 05:49 AM
My point is just that the rules are irrelevant.In light of the discussion, a rule is simply a tool. The best tool is the rule. If one doesn't want to use the tools then more power to them. As for me, I'll use all the tools I can discover, understand and wield with grace.

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 05:59 AM
I want to inject something into this discussion that I think will add another dimension to it.

Taste.

What is good taste, and what is bad taste? Is there an universal standard? Does the rich, educated, and powerful segment of the population hold the right to set that standard more so than the average people? Do people that listen to classical music have better taste than peole that listen to Britney Spears?

Let's take an artist that some people love to bash, and some people worship--Boris Vallejo. The people that love to bash him think his work is all technique with no substance. All that knowledge he possesses as an experienced painter is used to render cheesy, trite, and garrish subjects that have stiff and silly poses, garrish colors, and severely outdated designs. The people that worship him think his works are fine examples of superior technique and understanding of the human form.

So, who's right, and who's wrong? Obviously, both camps feel they are right, and even if art history takes one side over the other, it still won't change people's minds. Look at Bouguereau--art history wanted to do away with him for decades, but the people who admired his work fought against the mainstream and worked hard to bring hm back into the limelight and demanded that he is placed back into art history in his rightful place.

In the end, everything is subjective. Do we take comfort in that conclusion, or is that conclusion cause for perpetual agitation in difference of taste?Yes, taste is highly subjective.

Concerning who's right and who's wrong, regarding what you said, I don't think either side is wrong. However I don't think "everything" is subjective, but rather that we as humans subjectify most everything due to the immense power and ability of our minds. No problem with that, other than I'm looking to understand another dimension of life per se.

Peddy
04-06-2005, 06:05 AM
wow. i dont envy those of us who study aesthetics from a theoretical approach. interesting stuff guys!

Stahlberg
04-06-2005, 06:43 AM
Maybe "beauty - ugliness" is the wrong paradigm for what I'm trying to say. I feel it's much more basic than that. How about "interesting - boring", "pleasant - unpleasant", "able to hold our attention longer - not able etc"? Not much better, but maybe you see better what I mean.

For instance, we find movement more interesting than non-movement, it is hypnotically attractive to our eyes on a level so basic it's usually impossible for our conscious mind to resist the impuls to look - all for obvious evolutionary reasons.
But that doesn't mean that movement equals beauty! It's just another biological fact, it's how our visual system works. You can use this fact if you want to, or ignore it if you want to. But you seem to be saying you'd choose not to know it in the first place?

btw do you also feel that perspective and color theory are irrelevant?

Enayla
04-06-2005, 07:45 AM
Personally, I’ve always found attractive not so much the skin itself, as how you carry it. A great deal of the ‘beauty’ being found in the pattern of movements, the rhythm of gestures and the posture of the body. I’ll see someone with nigh flawless features but I still can’t seem to find him or her beautiful because of the way they move or present themselves, whereas someone with less physical beauty might appear as absolutely stunning to me because they have that certain ‘something’ in their eyes and in their body language. I personally prefer a graceful man far above the masculine, buff ideal that society seems to want me to subscribe to. I fancy ‘cute’ over ‘handsome’ and a set of nice lips over a healthy moustache.

(In art, I’ll see this as a beautifully painted or modeled character in an unappealing pose, truly putting me off to the whole concept, whereas one with a less than flawless face in a more thoughtful and intriguing posture will make me appreciate the beauty. I think people tend to forget that it’s just as much about the body language in art, too, as it is about the actual ‘looks’)

This having said about my personal taste for pretty people, yes, there is that thing about beauty that is bound to the physical self: society setting the standards for what we are supposed to think of as lovely. Everything from Barbie dolls to porn magazines adding on top of what might be genetically favourable. As a side note, I think that what women think of as beautiful women, and what men think of as beautiful women are two rather different things. We girls have a tendency to think that we have to be stick figures, because that’s what society is trying to tell us with its imagery, whereas the guys I know all seem to prefer some flesh on their girls’ hips. And men, well… a lot of guys seem to believe that girls care only about muscles, tallness, a wide chin and, er, extensive equipment so to speak… whereas most of my girl friends would quote things like “pretty lips”, “nice eyes” and “clean hair” (?!)

I just find it somewhat amusing, and even though I know that the super thin models you’ll see on the telly do not fit with every guy’s concept of beauty, this is still what we girls will always compare ourselves to.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 10:07 AM
Jim, I think you're putting the cart before the horse - you can't have beauty first, then evolve the senses to experience it. A random attribute comes first (pick one, anyone), then a lifeform may evolve to find it beautiful.
There can be no objective beauty at all. Aliens with outer surfaces like raw concrete who live in dark caves and communicate with radio waves might say the same thing you said about beauty, but they would mean completely different things. Why be anthropocentric about it? Our sense of aesthetics is not the only possible one. Take an example closer to home; to a dog some of the most beautiful things in the world are dog-butts and rotting flesh. Subjects which are hard to make aesthetically pleasing to humans. Possible, yes, if we make it look like something else, or almost abstract, by playing with lighting and composition etc. But not in and of itself.

I think you missed a spot. It's probably true that senses must develop first. Everything that happenshas a reason especially in lifeforms.

But there is the thing of the golden cut that just keeps on repeating. It's too mathematically accurate to be a random event. Something to just happen just because. And I don't believe in religious philosophy and science excluding eachother either. The best example for that is physics(the only true science of nature other than behavioral sciences), and the eightfold path.

That easily brings me to the improbability of so many things of beauty. How is it that whichever form a creature has it amazingly enough has to obey the phi ration(=golden cut=ca. 1 : 0.618618 with 618 constantly recurring, hence the improbability of little germs or insects inventing it for fun or communication). A dog might find another dog butt attractive but you'll also find them staring at things in their evirnment, things they enjoy looking at. Just like human beings might sometimes stare at a corner of the room where the light is striking oddly. I am quite certain that once we have the capacity to travel to other planets we will find ourselves measuring the same proportional ratio on creatures who have evolved completely besides us. But that's cutting air.

I love these complicated discussions in the morning!:thumbsup:


PS: As to stick figures: I think it went hand in hand with the advent of holidays abroad and television and more competent photography. When television and photography came about as a medium that could eb used on a massive scale they had to use enormously powerful lights and they lights and/or lighting situations which had a flattening affect. The "bony models" simply caught more shadows in these circumstances. Research on this beauty issue has also proven that the ratio's we find attractive are in the bones, not in the flesh.

I myself prefer skinny agile, meaning not too much meat to get up and run off to the trainstation. Just me, wanna have fun.:shrug:The fun culture just asks that, we can go anywhere on the planet just for kicks, but when I see a fat woman having trouble getting of a sofa I positively feel almost repulsed.

slaughters
04-06-2005, 11:08 AM
....Boris Vallejo. The people that love to bash him think his work is all technique with no substance. All that knowledge he possesses as an experienced painter is used to render cheesy, trite, and garrish subjects that have stiff and silly poses, garrish colors, and severely outdated designs. The people that worship him think his works are fine examples of superior technique and understanding of the human form....Throw in another extreme example of how "tastes" affects the perception of beauty.

Elvis paintings on balck velvet.

To a lot this is the epitome of bad taste. They sneer at not just the artist, but at those who purchase the paintings. In fact, it has almost become an iconic symbol representing bad "taste"

BUT - A large number of people find this beautiful. Why ?

Something can be beautiful, but stongly disliked because it is in bad taste ?

What exists in certain art forms which causes it to be sneered at by some, yet seen as beautful by others, regardless of subject matter or skill. (3D anyone?)

LadyMedusa
04-06-2005, 11:12 AM
Post Removed.

Lunatique
04-06-2005, 11:33 AM
I’ll see someone with nigh flawless features but I still can’t seem to find him or her beautiful because of the way they move or present themselves,


Perfect example: Winona Ryder. That woman's got flawless features and a gorgeous body, but everytime I watch a film with her in it, I felt like I was watching a porcelain doll that can move and speak, instead of someone with a real presence--a memorable character.

I guess some people might say the same about Keanu Reeve.

I'm not a fan of exposing flesh and calling it sexy either. That's like calling a body-builder powerful, when real power comes from people with conviction, passion, and drive. I've met women who never wore anything revealing, but their every word and every gesture oozed sensuality. I've also met women that dressed like prostitutes, and although men might see them and think of cheap sex, but these women will never be respected and adored like the ones who commanded the attention of the opposite sex with far more grace and elegance.

Enayla
04-06-2005, 12:26 PM
Perfect example: Winona Ryder. That woman's got flawless features and a gorgeous body, but everytime I watch a film with her in it, I felt like I was watching a porcelain doll that can move and speak, instead of someone with a real presence--a memorable character.

I guess some people might say the same about Keanu Reeve.

It’s funny that you should mention Keanu Reeves and Winona, because those two are exactly the kind of people I was talking about. Absolutely flawless but without visible character.

Or so I thought, until I watched Keanu on one of those late night shows (Jay Leno, maybe?) and he seemed to be such a splendid, laid-back and relaxed person that he somehow became quite attractive again. I now look at him in an entirely new light. It’s funny how things like that work.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 12:47 PM
There is a differense between fleshy and fat, jmBoekestein.

I know!!! When did you see me saying otherwise. I said fat and I meant fat. And people have been saying that I'm too skinny all my life! It's not the point here. There's no need to get all worked up about that.

The point here is beauty. And you latter posters seem to go for character. I'm really curious, and just curious and not critisiZing, whether you'd find a person attractive if he was deformed and ugly but a nice person?
I'd doubt myself, because there definitely is the survival thing. It's silly to breed in faults. Just putting it bluntly you know. I myself like people more than their bodies so don't worry!

Lunatique
04-06-2005, 01:00 PM
I now look at him in an entirely new light. It’s funny how things like that work.


You know, that happens a lot with me when I watch talkshows. I'll either change my opinion about an actor for the better or worse. For example, My brother used to think Andy Mcdowell was very elegant and beautiful, and I used to think the same of Madeline Stowe. After seeing them both interviewed on talk shows, our images of them were completely destroyed. They were not elegant or graceful at all in person, in fact, Madeline Stowe was downright coarse and crude. I was very disappointed.

The reverse of that was when I saw Tia Carrera on a talkshow. I never felt like she was anything special--be it her acting or her looks, but she carried herself very gracefully on the show, and was very articulate and refined. I was highly impressed.

I'm a total sucker for brainy beauties with real inner strength--particularly brunettes. That's why I love actresses like Julia Ormond, Jennifer Connelly, and Diane Lane. They have this incredible inner strength that just radiates, and the intelligence that you see in their eyes.... *melts* And although I hate to admit this, they also have this vulnerability that is quite tangible--that hidden melancholy which I find very attractive. I've always been attracted to sad women--they're like wounded angels that I want to heal and protect.

But of course in real life, people that are always depressed can be kind of annoying--it's like "Why don't you just off yourself already if this life is so bad." So, sadness with a cause and a solution is attractive, but depression with no real cause and no solution is just frustrating.

although this stuff seems really off-topic, it really isn't. I don't know if people can tell, but these things actually play a part in my works. I actually portray that kind of melancholy subconsciously, and sometimes consciously.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 01:06 PM
Could it be that you are looking for a mirror image in women then? You find yourself disappointed in certain unnamed things in life and yuou want someone in the same position to feel better so you might feel better if you can heal them? Forgive me if I'm out of line, well not really, but it seems on-topic considering the thread starter mentions engagement with an artwork. Seems awefully normal to have though, it seems the whole world wants the fifties back too. And nothing changing for the better right at this millenium fest:shrug:.

Kanga
04-06-2005, 01:32 PM
.....This ratio-relationship is also found everywhere in nature and other life. Hence, I conclude that beauty can and does exist beyond our senses. We should learn about it, study it.

It is obvious to me while following this thread that artists form a very solid idea for themselves about what they are doing and how they go about it.

I have noticed alot of you have a very 'down to earth' approach to the subject which I have enjoyed reading. In my daily work and when exploring my passion I use techniques and rules I have learnt. In the back of my mind lurks a the thought that I could be completely wrong. This ensures a never ending search. It is good to study something but be aware that as creatures we have a tendancy to apply formulas to just about everything. For me the whole process is more a spiritual one (no I am not religeous except in my belief of art :) ). Once you have found a formula that works for you don't stop there.

Once again I am enjoying this thread very much,.... thanx.

Lunatique
04-06-2005, 01:42 PM
Could it be that you are looking for a mirror image in women then? You find yourself disappointed in certain unnamed things in life and yuou want someone in the same position to feel better so you might feel better if you can heal them?

That's an interesting way to look at it, but I don't think that's it. If I had to really pinpoint the driving cause behind it, it probably has to do with contrast. Seeing someone beam with joy after you have seen them weighted down by melancholy, make the joy that much more powerful. Of course you can say, "Well, a bitchy woman who wears a perpetual frown can give you that effect too." Well, melancholy is at least not offensive like a bitchy woman. :D

Another reason is more personal, and has more to do with my personal romantic history than anything deep and imbedded in my psyche.Things have happened in my past where someone's melancholy burned away like the fog because of my appearance in her life. That was a very intoxicating experience, watching her transform and become a happy person, particularly that her situation was dramatic and dangerous (organized crime involved). Being someone's source of joy doesn't always have to be some kind of a burden, if that person is independent and strong-willed. It's only a burden when you're dealing with a total wet-rag that can't survive on her own.

I guess in some ways, it's the whole "women want a knight in shining armour, and men want to be that knight in shining armour." thing. Even with my wife, she totally feels like I'm her knight in shining armour, and I feel like she's an gift sent from above--my personal angel. Okokoko, it's getting mushy now. I'll stop.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 01:56 PM
Wow, that was a fun read!!!

Glad you and your wife are tight together! I must say that I felt sometimes that I was looking for a mirror image of me in women, not like I fancy myself but more a let's go at it together thing.:)

:thumbsup:I'm going to check out your artwork in a while see what I can make of it now. I'll have a blast! Thanks for explaining.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 02:28 PM
fun read: >>link (http://goldennumber.net/)<<

Even biblical stuff in it. And my favourite number cruncher quantum physics.

GOTgraphic
04-06-2005, 03:22 PM
This having said about my personal taste for pretty people, yes, there is that thing about beauty that is bound to the physical self: society setting the standards for what we are supposed to think of as lovely.
Yes. I think as artists its a good idea/practice to be able to remove those stigmas assigned by cultural, societal, family, geography, behavioral and on and on. Not nessesarily for the sake of being able to go counter to what one has learned but that a more pure and true form of art/creation can exist. I feel that if one can do this, that it will greatly add to their skill sets, and allow advancing far beyond what people normaly think of as "fine", "expert" and or "divine". Otherwise one might fall into the rute of merely repeating, regurgitating and or coping what another master has done... not that that is bad or wrong, but that it wasn't so-called "created".

Once you have found a formula that works for you don't stop there.Agreed :cool:

fun read: >>link (http://goldennumber.net/)<<

Even biblical stuff in it. And my favourite number cruncher quantum physics. Great link! Thanks. I've some math text book somewhere that introduced me to all those ratios and formulas... its really quite amazing!

Stahlberg
04-06-2005, 04:58 PM
Heh, funny how all you guys are talking about human interaction now, and I'm still stuck in my nerdy science mode... well that's me I guess.

I just wanted to reiterate - imo there's nothing mysterious and miraculous about the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci series and all that. It's very simple.
The 2 preceding lower numbers added together gives you the next number in the series. That's it. It's just a natural way to grow, maybe even the optimal one.
And things do NOT have to have anything to do with this to be beautiful, and they can be ugly even if they follow it perfectly. Let's not make the mistake numerologists make, and see secret messages all over the place. :)

Enayla
04-06-2005, 05:09 PM
The point here is beauty. And you latter posters seem to go for character. I'm really curious, and just curious and not critisiZing, whether you'd find a person attractive if he was deformed and ugly but a nice person?


I'm not so sure that character and beauty are two entirely separate concepts. To me they're not, anyway. One can obviously have character without beauty, but I'm not sure if I've ever met anyone I'd consider beautiful who did not also have character.

When I see someone, or meet someone, who strikes me as 'beautiful', this person might be one of many things. I'm not claiming I am blind to physical beauty - quite the contrary, I'm a sucker for pretty faces, but I'm simply saying that just a pretty face means nothing to me if it's not got any backing. And a person with mediocre looks and a dazzling personality, sensual body language and a sparkle in the eye could be oh so much lovelier than a picture perfect fella who has an empty gaze. I take to style far more than regular looks, and I think that's the artist in me rearing its head and liking someone who takes care of themselves. I love watching people who dress well and move well, I love watching someone who knows how to talk, walk and has a certain way of laughing. It can even mesmerise me, I swear, just ask my friends. It's awkward, but I do not really find people with poor style, poor body language, poor posture and poor self esteem terribly attractive at all. Their face might be the epitome of conventional beauty but it just won't do it for me.

I might be way off the track of the original subject here, but to me, beauty is an all-encompassing thing and physical good looks is really only one part of the whole.

To answer your question, which is a little unfair - no, I probably would not find someone who is terribly deformed to be beautiful. On the other hand, I might find someone you see as an average looking person to be absolutely devastating.

Hugh-Jass
04-06-2005, 05:29 PM
I'm not so sure that character and beauty are two entirely separate concepts. To me they're not, anyway. One can obviously have character without beauty, but I'm not sure if I've ever met anyone I'd consider beautiful who did not also have character.

vacant stare...the deer in headlights... People that smile always seem a hundred times more attractive than those who don't.

What I find compelling is pulling off "character/demeanor" in artwork to get that personality accross. In reality when you get to know someone your perception of their beauty evolves (better or worse). Someone looking at a painting is likely a stranger to your perception and that's the big challenge to me.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 05:31 PM
@Stahlberg
Yes indeed, it's not just number crunching. But look at the reoccurances, they even think the universe has the shape of a dodecahedron of phi! In physics they want to measure time in factoring phi. Maybe I'm just missing something. As far just growing that way, you call it a natural way to grow but why then? Do you call it natural because you are used to it or is there a logical reason to say growing any other way is not preferrable.

@Enayla
Are you telling me that there's just that type of person that you like? With those certain ways? I find that a tad bit narrowing the choices to be honest. What if you take the time to look at others who are not that way. I find that if I just take the time I find a lot more in people! But who knows. Could be just me being ignorant.

Enayla
04-06-2005, 05:35 PM
Jan-Mark -- wellll... yes and no, depending on how you see it. I love hanging out with people of all kinds. I find all manners of people attractive and I'm fascinated by many different kinds of beauty. But the ones that bowl me over, that wow me, that make me go bug-eyed for one reason or other - those are the ones with class and poise and a gleam in their eye. I think that's a lot less narrowing it down than myriads of people saying, for instance, that they only like blondes or maybe only girls with big jugs, or perhaps slim, fat, or small-nosed people. So I find graceful people beautiful, I can't help it, I find it fascinating with people who take care of themselves.

RobertoOrtiz
04-06-2005, 05:47 PM
There is a very OLD thread about this.
What are the proportions of beauty? (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=141926&highlight=proportions+beauty)
And one of the ideas that was brought up, was the concept of the proportions
of beauty and the golden mean.

The idea is that beauty is based on propotions and can be calculated.

-R

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 05:48 PM
@Enayla,
When you put it that way, I agree. Allthough I don't necessarily have a standard for it. I find some people covered with piercing but nice ones, quite attractive. Good tattoos for instance also the same thing. But that's not taking care of rouself imo. And don't take it too personal!
But I can't stand narrow-mindedness. Anti-reasonables I'd call them.

Forgot to say that I think they are two separate things for sure! But one doesn't outweigh the other, I find statues with extremely beautiful features, just extremely beautiful! Basically if they were real people I'd want them to have beautiful personalities too. I guess in art we try to convey emotion so in art they should always be considered alongside eachother.

edit: or don't take it personal at all, just saying!
And Ia agree with Mr. Ortiz. I see the proof here at www.beautyanalysis.com .

slaughters
04-06-2005, 06:41 PM
...I just wanted to reiterate - imo there's nothing mysterious and miraculous about the Golden Mean and the Fibonacci series and all that....Actually, you can tie this in with your evolutionary/survival theory of beauty.

These ratios occur frequently in nature. Animals which evolved to not desire plants and animals which followed these sequences missed out on the majority of things in our world which can be used/consumed.

The pressures of natural selection lead to favoring those who desired items following these ratios.

If the natural growth of plants and animals followed and entire different ratio or iterative sequence, then I expect that we would fiind that beautiful instead.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 06:49 PM
Were it not for the fact that it's an issue of physics.

I think the basic physics in our bodies predetermines a lot of things. Among others a set path for things to follow. SOme of it is just basic naural selection yes. But I don't think we ever had the choice to like anything else. We might have chosen to breed with ugly creatures but we'd simply not "get off" on it. Just my opinion though.

lulaassassina
04-06-2005, 06:49 PM
What, you people want a recipy? You believe that this is making cakes?

Look back in your life and your way of seeing things. What I consider beautifull changes everyday and it expands.

Picasso told that "art spins allways around sex, misticism and death". Maybe this is too linear. But I believe that making art is also about searching, or discovering beauty. Or grace, as Jeff Buckley told.

Realize that your need to have a single answer to achieve beauty comes by a need of ego's confort. And not meaning to offend, it's stupid to think that way. There is no universal truth, and you know that.

Open up your minds and never stop learning.

luv

Lystmaler
04-06-2005, 06:52 PM
I’m not an artist nor someone who would admit he judged people by their looks, however I would like to care my opinion and thoughts about beauty, afterwards I’ll comment some of the mentioned points and ideas.

My first thought is that there is no rules, nothing attractive by force other then a healthy figure, as in, not to fat, not to skinny. I guess this is mainly for the pity I find in these people. It might be explained by Stahlberg theory.

I admire the look of Johnny Depp, as well as he’s great acting talent relevant to this topic, he got close to no muscle, yet he is constantly admired for his great look, what proves the masculine “Ideal” to be far of ideal, in practice.

I tend to find curves attractive in pictures as it tends to make a better composition, but with this I am not stating that I prefer females in art. Mainstream and average women carry a curved figure. I love curves, this might explain the fact that muscles were made “sexy” in the first place, they break up the stiff body a medium sized man would carry, in theory. However huge muscles are not really beautiful, they are rather nasty and ugly, big bold folding out of the skin in a revolting manner, unnecessarily taking place and increasing the muscled man’s weight. For the men, I prefer a female body structure, this might explain the popularity homosexuals got with Norwegian women. Personally I got a very feminine body form, and for some reason this seem to bother the men more than it bothers the women. Thus, the male muscle hype is just a male thing, made by men, for men.

I also find Asia Argento highly attractive, she carry a very natural face, so I would conclude that being natural is being beautiful. But what is a natural face?
I would guess it to be just a face, without strange veins or similar coming out from place to place. Scars can be attractive, tattoos, piercing’s and such can all be attractive just if they are not overdone.

I think that I can honestly say that it is easier to say what is ugly. Oily hair, small dune-beards, yellow teeth and worse, fat people because you pity them, skinny people because you pity them, weird long faces until you’re used to it, and no expressions ever... and that would be it.

As for the rest of the body, I got little to say about that. Bout the eyes and the hair is located on the head, and those are my favourite things. Hair because it’s entire personal, and it’s reflecting you completely until you’re a hairless middle-aged or older man. Eyes reflect people’s emotions.

I’m not a fan of exposing flesh and calling it sexy either. Flesh is different to beauty. Flesh and nudity is a cheep way to call for the hormones to work, and they work because they have to. It’s a natural law that the male hormone have to react to flesh, otherwise humanity would never have understood that we had to reproduce, and humanity would never understand how. However beauty is different. Beauty is more then desire, it’s deep and intense. Flesh is just random, really random.

The point here is beauty. And you latter posters seem to go for character. I’m really curious, and just curious and not critisiZing, whether you’d find a person attractive if he was deformed and ugly but a nice person?
Yes. The worst kind of person is the ego, the Nazi, the discriminative and the abusive. Someone with horrible defamations would be anything but that. If you refer to someone who’s just as “bad” looking as the elephant man or Edward Scissorhands, this is. I could not find the same for a dune-bearded woman ;)

On the judge of personality, I admire people with poor self confidence when they dare to walk out in the middle of the abusive average as they see it. They express great courage, these people have probably experienced stuff I have experienced, what is sexual abuse, racist violence, and insults coming from everyone trout all their childhood. These things will seriously deform one persons personality when they are among people, but they will change like a switch once you get more contact with them, what is rather mysterious.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 07:00 PM
:rolleyes:nice to know what you were thinking:wise: honestly.

I was wondering though, whether you had checked out THIS (http://www.beautyanalysis.com)link. And compared your acquierd taste to theirs. Because this is starting to look like an -I'll wing it- thread.

RobertoOrtiz
04-06-2005, 07:08 PM
And I would suggest this site too:

http://tlc.discovery.com/convergence/humanface/humanface.html

-R

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 07:21 PM
Well... I don't know about that site...the facial snobs test says I need professional help...:surprised...That can't be right...I'm really an okay guy...sorta...

Lystmaler
04-06-2005, 09:56 PM
jmBoekestein - That link made no sence, beauty isn't sience.

RobertoOrtiz's link made more sence to me, it had a nice test that told me that I got no facial issues.

Oh and one who use sarcastic smileys to tell tell other that it isn't nice to know what they think, spreed hes own toughts all the time.

jmBoekestein
04-06-2005, 10:19 PM
2 words

Condescending

****

do you need hafl a page to explain that:
-not all humans are attracted to stereotypes
-you can't really define what beauty is and it's easier to denote that somethings ugly(in your eyes that is).:shrug:


Personal preference set aside, it still boils down to the fact that the names you mentioned fit a certain pattern( I stress certain), which is/was being discussed here. Hence the link back on topic...
and again...(btw, they're the same theory in practice, one's just for a more general audience)

The fact that it's not science is because it's quite free to interpretation, but only within context. Here's a question for you:

If you see a nature documentary, and the narrator tells the audience that a certain animal will fancy a certain other animal because it has a big shiny red ass. Will you not call that science because it's uncertain or because you can't verify it? Or do you simply shrug and say that it's ugly and they're all wrong.

My 2 cents.

LadyMedusa
04-06-2005, 10:44 PM
No facial issues here :)

I have to say that shiny objects and white teeth do attract my attention, but honestly. Mr. Cleese's theeth are way too white.
For me beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I, for example, like red-harided men speaking of externally, while most of the ladies I've been in contact to, found it very ugly. Maby because the red's Ive seen were shining whit emotion, and not as the slightly dead puppet many people seem to be.
Many people find Ben Affleck utterly sexy, while I assosiate him as a polygonal square whit hair attatched to the top. He got little to no emotin in his face.

So, personally, I'd say the beautifull is shiny, but not too shiny, and humans shining whit personality and emotion.

Edit:
(...) Here's a question for you:

If you see a nature documentary, and the narrator tells the audience that a certain animal will fancy a certain other animal because it has a big shiny red ass. Will you not call that science because it's uncertain or because you can't verify it? Or do you simply shrug and say that it's ugly and they're all wrong.

My 2 cents.
Animals are still strongly affected by instinct. Humans have evolved into having less instinct, but we still have them.

TorbjornO
04-07-2005, 01:01 AM
In light of the discussion, a rule is simply a tool. The best tool is the rule. If one doesn't want to use the tools then more power to them. As for me, I'll use all the tools I can discover, understand and wield with grace.

A rule is defined as a a generalized statement that describes what is true in most or all cases. To take this further in this case, a rule is something that we perceive to be true in most or all cases. Since we've agreed that beauty is defined more than just the obvious shape properties (like character traits etc.) and we all seem to agree it's subjective, how is it possible to make rules? You can make rules for yourself if you feel the need to, but it's quite condescending to say that if someone ignores the rules that you or someone else have set, they are chosing to ignore a tool.

We are speaking two different languages here though I think. You guys are looking at properties and categorizing it into what human senses seems to react to. You speak of science of beauty but how can you when it's all subjective? If it's your job to explore beauty (to sell it in whatever form, photography film or whatever) then explore it and take note of what most people around you tend to take to. But always be ready to reinvent everything you think you know about beauty. From where I stand I feel that's the only way you'll evolve as an artist.

Stahlberg, I love your stuff. You're a talented artist, and I say this with the outmost respect for your work, but the images of beauty I have seen you do are quite limited within a certain range. All your beauties look very similar. I can tell your vision of beauty is different from mine. My point is you can't say I am wrong, all you can claim is that I am the exception to the rules you or someone else have established.

I haven't meant any disrespect to anyone, I just believe generalisations are pointless. If something is subjective, let people explore it for themselves. Teach them techniques (like Enayla's great eye tutorial), guide them to find their own ways.

TorbjornO
04-07-2005, 01:20 AM
Stahlberg, I love your stuff. You're a talented artist, and I say this with the outmost respect for your work, but the images of beauty I have seen you do are quite limited within a certain range. All your beauties look very similar. I can tell your vision of beauty is different from mine. My point is you can't say I am wrong, all you can claim is that I am the exception to the rules you or someone else have established.



Sorry I should clarify that, I didn't mean that you are limited as an artist. Your work just seems to embrace one kind of beauty, which I would imagine being the beauty that you take to and love. There are certain kinds of beauty that seem to appeal to me as well so I think it's very natural to go for what inspires you. All I meant is that your vision of beauty is not the kind of beauty that appeals to me. No matter how accomplished you are as an artist of "beauty" there's always going to be a few people who say "meh!".

GOTgraphic
04-07-2005, 01:23 AM
A rule is defined as a a generalized statement that describes what is true in most or all cases. To take this further in this case, a rule is something that we perceive to be true in most or all cases. Since we've agreed that beauty is defined more than just the obvious shape properties (like character traits etc.) and we all seem to agree it's subjective, how is it possible to make rules? You can make rules for yourself if you feel the need to, but it's quite condescending to say that if someone ignores the rules that you or someone else have set, they are chosing to ignore a tool.

We are speaking two different languages here though I think. You guys are looking at properties and categorizing it into what human senses seems to react to. You speak of science of beauty but how can you when it's all subjective? If it's your job to explore beauty (to sell it in whatever form, photography film or whatever) then explore it and take note of what most people around you tend to take to. But always be ready to reinvent everything you think you know about beauty. From where I stand I feel that's the only way you'll evolve as an artist.

Stahlberg, I love your stuff. You're a talented artist, and I say this with the outmost respect for your work, but the images of beauty I have seen you do are quite limited within a certain range. All your beauties look very similar. I can tell your vision of beauty is different from mine. My point is you can't say I am wrong, all you can claim is that I am the exception to the rules you or someone else have established.

I haven't meant any disrespect to anyone, I just believe generalisations are pointless. If something is subjective, let people explore it for themselves. Teach them techniques (like Enayla's great eye tutorial), guide them to find their own ways.As evident in my several posts, I respectfully disagree.

Stahlberg
04-07-2005, 03:38 AM
they even think the universe has the shape of a dodecahedron of phi!

Please take everything on that site with a huge bag of salt. They are Christian fanatics who try to equate the theory of the "Holy Trinity" with the Golden Mean. Very similar to those moslem fanatics who have been counting every letter in the Koran for centuries, in order to find relationships to the number 19 (which they think is "holier" than any other). Hm, wonder if numerology still works in binary, or any other base than 10... :)
This is NOT religion balanced with science, it's the direct opposite - religion perverting science to its own ends.

Torbjorn, I think you're right - we're talking 2 different languages. You're completely missing my point, no matter what I say. But I'll try one more time:
My essay does NOT concern what type of art I like, what method, style, media, technique, physiognomy, race, attitude, deeper meaning, message, symbols, psychology, etc etc etc etc was used to create a piece. It does NOT rate any works of art on these bases.

It ONLY concerns certain VERY BASIC phenomena that can be INDEPENDENTLY MEASURED AND CHECKED by anyone, that have been established and known by scientists for many years. I'm telling you we're used to blue sky and green ground, and if we look out a window and see green on top and blue at the bottom we'd be confused for a moment.

If that's the effect you WANT in your art, fine go ahead and use it! If not, don't!
But - please explain what's the harm in knowing it? If that makes an artist feel he can only paint blue on top and green at the bottom forever after, that makes HIM a frikkin simpleton, doesn't it? Nothing wrong with the facts, it's how you use them.

ashakarc
04-07-2005, 04:12 AM
"Those who see pastures blue, and sky green ought to be sterilized." Adolf Hitler on the Bauhaus movement.

Agree on your thesis Stahlberg: For beauty is a social phenomenon. And, it relates to the conscious perceptual subject, rather than the signified object. It's a long history of discourse on beauty since Plato, through Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, to Nietzsche, Ponti, and Derrida.

Artists seem to measure beauty by imagination, a synthetic approach to art appreciation, while art critics use judgement, an analytical method for appreciation. The rest of majority use "taste" with varying degrees.

best,
ashakarc

TorbjornO
04-07-2005, 05:20 AM
Please take everything on that site with a huge bag of salt. They are Christian fanatics who try to equate the theory of the "Holy Trinity" with the Golden Mean. Very similar to those moslem fanatics who have been counting every letter in the Koran for centuries, in order to find relationships to the number 19 (which they think is "holier" than any other). Hm, wonder if numerology still works in binary, or any other base than 10... :)
This is NOT religion balanced with science, it's the direct opposite - religion perverting science to its own ends.

Torbjorn, I think you're right - we're talking 2 different languages. You're completely missing my point, no matter what I say. But I'll try one more time:
My essay does NOT concern what type of art I like, what method, style, media, technique, physiognomy, race, attitude, deeper meaning, message, symbols, psychology, etc etc etc etc was used to create a piece. It does NOT rate any works of art on these bases.

It ONLY concerns certain VERY BASIC phenomena that can be INDEPENDENTLY MEASURED AND CHECKED by anyone, that have been established and known by scientists for many years. I'm telling you we're used to blue sky and green ground, and if we look out a window and see green on top and blue at the bottom we'd be confused for a moment.

If that's the effect you WANT in your art, fine go ahead and use it! If not, don't!
But - please explain what's the harm in knowing it? If that makes an artist feel he can only paint blue on top and green at the bottom forever after, that makes HIM a frikkin simpleton, doesn't it? Nothing wrong with the facts, it's how you use them.

Damn... ok then. What a shift in tone. Here are some examples based on your scientifically based article.

- There are black dots on white dresses that are considered by some to be beautiful (http://www.vintageous.com/v2941.htm). We talked about this already.

- Photographers play with irregularities AND smoothness. Some photographers love having completely smooth skin with almost no detail. Everything is told through subtle curves. I remember seeing a photograph a while ago with a bald woman and her skin didn't have a single dent in it because of the way it was lit. It was a beautiful photo.

- I prefer plain white/grey t-shirts over gradient ones.

- Your landscale image example. Minimalist artists play with this all time to with as few shapes and colors make impressive imagery.

- Composition. Right now Darren Aronofsky is shooting his movie where almost everything is shot from straight behind, straight in front or from the sides or straight above or straight below. I can bring up a number of photographers that have very evenly spaced and concentric line work going through their photos.

Why teach this "science" when it's flawed? That's why generalisations don't work because they are inherently flawed as soon as there are exceptions. I choose not to make rules for myself where I can immediately find a "but in this context it works". Your article was an interesting read, but I wouldn't teach it to art students as rules.

I go based on what I feel. If I feel it looks good in my minds eye, I explore it. As an artist you're not strifing to "break" the rules, you're just strifing to make something you find appealing or interesting.

I think I'll let it be at this stage but I'll keep reading, and think about the thoughts that are shared.

Lystmaler
04-07-2005, 05:45 AM
do you need hafl a page to explain that:
-not all humans are attracted to stereotypes
-you can't really define what beauty is and it's easier to denote that somethings ugly(in your eyes that is). Oh I always talk way to mutch, old habit, I conclude my toughts as I type them and I say them as I think about it. :p

If you see a nature documentary, and the narrator tells the audience that a certain animal will fancy a certain other animal because it has a big shiny red ass. Will you not call that science because it’s uncertain or because you can’t verify it? Or do you simply shrug and say that it’s ugly and they’re all wrong.
This goes back to why flesh is attractive. It’s not beauty, it’s just an instinct needed for reproduction.

Why teach this “science” when it’s flawed? That’s why generalisations because they are inherently flawed. I choose not to make rules for myself where I can immediately find a “but in this context it works”. Your article was an interesting read, but I wouldn’t teach it to art students as rules.
It’s a theory, not a law. And the examlpes mentioned by you earlier were all based on style, and not beauty.
I agree with you that there is no definition to beauty, however.

Stahlberg
04-07-2005, 08:47 AM
Damn... ok then. What a shift in tone.
Perhaps not so surprising, considering you keep attacking my essay on the wrong grounds, because you've misunderstood it. I'm sure you'd feel frustrated too, especially if you worked as long on it as I have.

- There are black dots on white dresses that are considered by some to be beautiful (http://www.vintageous.com/v2941.htm).
That dress, in any way you care to show and light it, will have almost none of the optical quality of the aggressive field I used in my example. Look at that image of the dress for 1 minute. Then go back to looking at the aggressive field (make sure you're not too far away from it), also for 1 minute. I guarantee you will feel the second one to be much more unpleasant than the first. Of course the dress is more aesthetically pleasing than my example - because of its folds, its shape, its environment, its shadows, the reduced contrast in the dots... it has a lot of variation.

- Photographers play with irregularities AND smoothness.
Exactly what I'm saying. Variation.


Some photographers love having completely smooth skin with almost no detail. Everything is told through subtle curves.
Exactly, we love to look at skin, even if it's black and white... and we love curves. Perhaps a closeup of 2 thighs, a smooth gradation then a sudden sharp edge where the second leg starts, a shallow curve then a sudden bend at the butt, a tiny amount of subtle pore texture... and that's all you need to create a great image.


- I prefer plain white/grey t-shirts over gradient ones.

Of course. Again, as with the dress-example - t-shirts have folds, volume, shading, anatomy, movement (if someone's wearing it). A flat grey rectangle has none of these things.


- Your landscale image example. Minimalist artists play with this all time to with as few shapes and colors make impressive imagery.

As I have stated several times already:
I'm not saying one is better "art" than the other. (Although in this case the one on the right does fail as minimalist art due to many other factors.)
I'm saying, the one on the left will be more 'interesting' - on a basic, subconscious level - to a very great majority of people, than the one on the right. Put them side by side in a public place, measure people's gazes as they pass by. If you don't want to concern yourself with this type of subconscious lingering of the gaze, then fine. Go minimalist. But this behavioural phenomenon still exists.

Maybe I should have called it something else. Subliminal interest? :shrug:


- Composition. Right now Darren Aronofsky is shooting his movie where almost everything is shot from straight behind, straight in front or from the sides or straight above or straight below.
The direction of shooting has very little to do with where the foci end up in the final composition.

I can bring up a number of photographers that have very evenly spaced and concentric line work going through their photos.

Yes, I've seen lots of photographs like that too. Anything from picket-fences to brickwalls to phonelines... it's a favorite motif among pros and amateurs alike, because it's so easy to find in our industrialised modern world. Doesn't mean it's more interesting (in the basic sense) than the kind of motif we've evolved to exist within.

Why teach this "science" when it's flawed? That's why generalisations don't work because they are inherently flawed as soon as there are exceptions.
You're not bringing up exceptions, you're comparing oranges to apples.


I go based on what I feel. If I feel it looks good in my minds eye, I explore it.

I think that applies to all artists. I mean, do you really think I go "Hm, I just had the coolest idea... but I won't explore it because it would break some rule." lol

Oh well, I guess I need more examples in that essay, or something...

jmBoekestein
04-07-2005, 09:55 AM
Well this has gotten interesting!:) I agree with Mr. Stahlberg on his "defense", and also on the religious fanatics stuff, bu still they found a way to work it into just about anything. I wouldn't discard it on those grounds.

And the big red shiny ass actually swell on chimps, it's sarcasm. You won't find it attractive, but the chimps will. The fact that you don't doesn't matter to anybody:wise:. [edit: with that I mean to say that you beter have a decent eyeopener for us if you want us to believe that beauty is an inconsistent variable derived from shear magic or luck. It aint happenin' is it?]

Good luck to you sir.

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