Recognizing beauty and defining it are individual tasks. "Beauty resides in proper measure and proper size of parts that fit", said Plato. (Beauty is) "a pleasure arising from outline, color, motion, and grouping", said Emerson. But throughout the years, beauty has found itself victim to a strict paradigm, that being the "concept of beauty. This concept, or what Plato calls "the beautiful itself" provides us with a standard, against which, we may measure objects for their individual quality of beauty. Plato's concept is what we now refer to as idealism. There is an unwritten (yet often spoken) law that shelters, by means of euphemism, those things that exist with parts that don't fit into Plato's category of "proper measure" and "proper form". The paradox? Violate this law and risk being pronounced superficial, dull-witted and socially unpolished; live within it and confine yourself to constructs of beauty that are pre-conceived and ill defined. What came first, "fashionable society" or the concept of idealism? Whatever it was, reactively, our society has developed a need to suppress our predilection towards things beautiful. We might label something as ugly: a dead tree, a unique face or even a portion of our own body. But that element is ugly only because we compare it to what we consider to be "the ideal." And in our culture, the ideal is not only preconceived (by us), but also contrived (by someone else). We don't even allow ourselves the right to define our own ideal. "Society expunges the significance of beauty; the artists bring it back." -Jonas LegoniOnly a few weeks have elapsed since that wine-sipping episode left me contemplating the moon and the omnipresence and significance of beauty. Plato might have summed up the encounter by simply stating that every glass of red wine is merely an imperfect imprint of a single ideal glass. Here Plato speaks idly for the masses; those who need a corporeal archetype to measure themselves against. This is not to deny the existence of the ideal, but to challenge how our culture defines and consequently perceives it. A plea to show appreciation to those who consistently seek, challenge and redefine the ideal. This is how we define our artists and such is the rediscovery of beauty.
Anniversary Issue Lay-Out