Beauty | Antique & Art Exchange


Tennessee Williams played an important role in 20th century thought, writing and entertainment. Recently we stumbled across a copy of a Roman bronze antique statue that he wrote about and actually considered it his best writing. The original bronze was discovered in Pompeii about 1860. It is probably a statue of the god Dionysus or Bacchus as a young man because of the grape wreath on his head. For quite a while the piece was thought to represent Narcissus. Many castings of this beautiful statue where sold to wealthy tourists and they remain highly prized and are relatively hard to find. The beauty of this statue inspired Williams. We have all been distracted and inspired by beauty. In nature beauty is generally considered to be a sign of health and genetic superiority. In painting for most of human history works where used to teach spiritual truths. At the moment I am not certain what the function of contemporary art is beyond decoration. A small group of my favorite living artists are satirists and dystopians. My favorite artist is highly abstract but in a sly way. It is as if he is arranging clouds of color into suggestions of things and places. I think his work is meant to touch the part of us that doesn’t age and to leave us with wonder. The paintings are subtle and work on your consciousness slowly. My favorite art quote at the moment is from David Hockney commenting on a highly regarded painter. It goes about like this; “Frankly I don’t get it, its always the same damn squeegee”. In case you want to make your own, a sequence of color is applied then wiped from the canvas by a squeegee. The paintings look predictably windswept but I doubt most of you would see any beauty in them. Finally a brief story about a famous art and antiques dealer that was cornered by a matron for a dinner party. At the end of the evening the hostess asked him what he thought of her home. He replied it was simply awful, so ugly that it caused him pain and that he considered it one of the worst experiences of his life. Please think about avoiding mass produced, cleverly marketed common things. Do what you can to make your home beautiful, unique and comfortable. Keep in mind some of the most interesting homes are done without great expense, it is simply a question of taste and style. If you are unsure consider hiring an expert to help you. A funny story was passed to me about a recent home tour charity benefit in one of the country’s highest priced neighborhoods. Every home had the same sofa in the living room made in Asia as economically as possible.


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