Essays, Analyses and Meditations

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Art in the Age of Irregularity

  • Perfect shapes do not exist in nature, only in the human mind.
  • No behavior is a perfect geometric line. No plant or lake or mountain is a perfect geometric shape. A straight line is an exception (and, look close enough, it is not so straight after all).
  • For centuries art was about creating the kind of regularity that only the human mind can imagine: straight walls, circular bases, cubes, spheres. Even portraits of individuals were artificially smoothed out so that the features looked as geometric as possible.
  • The more realistic the painter tried to be, the more it had to deviate from the ideal of beauty.
  • Photography might have accelerated the process by introducing a competitor to the portrait, a competitor that shows all the imperfections of the human skin.
  • Whatever the cause, art became more and more chaotic and dissonant, and artists came to value irregularity more than regularity.