Our society has been transformed by the internet, Hollywood movie production and the idea that social media moves us to impress people we hate by buying stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have.
But without wandering off into the vast dessert of social critique where anger grows on non-binary shrubbery plantations, I would like to point out one interesting fact about the spectacle that relates directly to us artists — the question of morality.
Aesthetics and morality have been regarded as separate fields only since the 18th century, and the idea of a beautiful idiot is much more contemporary than most people think — Narcissus for example, contrary to common belief, was in fact not regarded as a beautiful twat in his time.
Before the division between the idea of aesthetics and morality, if a person was to be regarded as beautiful, they had to have had moral standing too. But since the 18th century, visual beauty and inner beauty became separate concepts and so art’s function became much more diversified.
Art stopped serving only as a visual stimulant, as was mostly the case prior in the baroque and rococo eras of the 17th century — a sad time for art saved only by the dynamic plump bodies of Rubens and Velázquez’s ninja perspective work.
After the division more emphasis was given to questions of morality, the self, and soon painters around Europe would become intrigued not only with the beauty that was out there, but with the beauty that hid inside of us all — the soul. And all the tiny little demons that co-inhabited the place when morality would go for a holiday.
It was a wonderful time of exploration and reconnection with the self and nobody was aware of the changes that such an outlook on life would bring in the distant future.
Now, in the year 2019, introspection is more a good tag word for a vegan meal prep video than an actual exercise of mental and spiritual connection, but more on this in tomorrow’s blog, where we’ll take a look at how some Guy foresaw it all coming and what we can do about it.