Beauty...is not in the eye, it is in the mind.
What our eyes see is just what's there--shapes, colors, lines--without judgment. Then our mind deems it beautiful or plain or downright ugly.
Nemser: I think your work is very affirmative because you take ordinary things that are part of our world and find beauty in them. You use small common objects like honey jars or inexpensive glasses and use them to tell a great deal about the world we live in. That gives your work a universality.
Fish: My favorite subject of all was the vinegar bottles, which were bland forms that change incredibly if you move them even half an inch.
Nemser: Your using of common glass is a rebellious act then...you take that very banal glass and make it beautiful. It loses its banality when your sunlit strokes define it.
What enables an artist to see common glass and "make it beautiful"? Fish attributes it to change:
Your eye keeps changing all the time...you see things differently...depending on the light, the nature of the day, the way your eyes are focused, the mood you are in. Your focus keeps changing. Your head is always moving. All these things are happening and it is all changing your perception.
It is most important that an artist should always face what he depicts, at least in the beginning, with a sense of sheer wonder. However ugly a face may be, we can discover some beauty in it if we first experience wonder before it and then begin to understand it too.
Just because we don't see beauty in something does not automatically mean that it doesn't exist there. Roditi adds that even portraits of inmates in an insane asylum can be transformed from something frightening or horrible into something beautiful. He cites those created by French painter and lithographer Jean Louis Theodore Gericault (1791-1824).
Questions and Comments:
If you have found yourself considering something or someone beautiful, though previously you did not, what made the difference?
Is there art you once disliked and now are attracted to? How did that change of perception come about?