On Beauty, Horror, Art, and the Human Condition

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

By Anonymous | Canada


Most art is pretentious, especially modern art. But even classical art very often depicted flowers, happiness, and beauty, and that’s fine. Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa is certainly beautiful, if not a little mysterious. Something about the way she stares at you makes you think she knows some secret of yours you’d rather forget or some secret joke about you.


Paintings of happy people are nice to look at, flowers are pretty and all, but I prefer more horror/scarier art styles because they show a deeper meaning of what it is to be human. For most of human existence we live short, brutish lives and even today we are happy now and then. Most times, however, we go through so much pain and daily problems of all kinds (as we get older especially), and endure insurmountable difficulties.


I find scarier/horror art genres tell a better story: they show our fears, our secrets, all that we try so desperately to hide, and lays it on a canvas for all to see.


Anyone can splash red paint on paper and call it blood, or paint a dark figure and call it a ghoul, the grim reaper or some such. But only a few artists who are truly familiar enough with fear, pain, and the true human condition, can manage to put the truth on paper and awaken something within the viewer.


Goya is an example. In his painting The Gentleman he shows an ape-like man who he calls ‘the gentleman’ ironically. I think he should have called it ‘the reverse evolution’ or ‘the devolution’. The beauty of this work is that it shows the animal inside every man, the shadow that Carl Jung and Freud spoke about. It displays the beast lurking behind the surface; the beast inside us we constantly battle and must keep in check to function in society. For me, this is a fine example of what true art should be.

 

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#art #franciscodegoya #humancondition #beauty #horror #classicalart

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