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Aesthetics

Where’s the art? -Clayton

Take a close look. Try and find the real beauty in this picture.

Now, before you strain your eyes too hard, or try anything fancy like a “ctrl+f” search for “Art,” just keep on reading. The art is right beneath your nose.

It’s Wally (Or Waldo, if you’re American), and he is beautiful.

If I could be anyone in the world, I would be Wally. How does this trendy looking grinning guy qualify as beautiful? Well, just look at him! His smug grin, pom-pom hat, striped shirt and swooped hair may be screaming “FASHION NIGHTMARE!” to some of you, but I assure you, Wally is beautiful

Wally goes beyond just the art. Created by Martin Handford, Wally, or Waldo, is quite the infamous character. Wally is a time traveller with a knack for getting lost in a crowd. He’s always there to be found, and he never makes it easy. When something is “beautiful” it has the ability to provoke emotions from people. Whether it’s somewhere between the joy of success to the anger and frustration of an impossible puzzle, Wally does a fantastic job of bringing a whole range of emotions out of us. As he simply stumbles through many different scenes he always has these same characteristics. He is a never-changing character in an ever-changing world. He is a man that has seen things, lived through many parts of history, and could potentially be anywhere he wants. Despite all of this, he just seems to keep on travelling. Maybe he’s on the run, or maybe he’s just lost. He could be walking through a crowded 21st century shopping mall or through a 13th century battle, and still wear the same old grin. No matter where or when he’s located, or what’s happening around him, he’s still happy. Isn’t that truly beautiful?

If I could be anyone, I would be Wally.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Where’s the art? -Clayton

  1. Nice post Clay, It’s great to have something here that’s not a very common definition of art. I suppose anger does fall under the category of “feels”, even though that’s not usually the feeling we get from art. He is really quite famous, probably more so than many of the other pieces of art or beauty posted here. It’s also great to find meaning like that in something like a puzzle.
    One question, though: Do you think it would still be considered art if the puzzles were a lot easier (if you don’t get nearly as many feels from frustration or triumph)?

    -Emily

    (P.S.: I found him!)

    Posted by anafricanswallow | January 14, 2013, 6:09 pm
    • Emily,

      “I suppose anger does fall under the category of “feels”, even though that’s not usually the feeling we get from art”

      I found it really interesting that you said that, and even start wonder: is this a repercussion of a Plato inspired restriction? Plato was one of the first to object to art that could result in negative emotions, particularly anger, because it could cause the youth to become ‘rebellious and difficult’. And when I think about it, you’re right – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a painting that has contained components that make me upset, or angry, in any way.

      Could the reason for this be, that long ago (or even not so long ago), art has been limited in a way that it cannot convey or express these specific, angry emotions? And if so, should we move towards enabling artists to do this? Or should we remain anger-less in art?

      Just some thoughts,
      Jonathan

      Posted by JonathanToews | January 15, 2013, 4:17 am
      • Jonathan,

        That’s a great point. What I think is that, rather than art being limited, it’s more of an unconscious choice on the part of the artist. If I do a drawing that makes people really angry when they see it, they probably won’t like it very much. Also, if something makes you mad, your response might be just to decide that it’s not art and you likely won’t stop to appreciate it as much as you might a cheerful piece of art.. I think this reasoning could be a part of why angry art (and possibly sad art, though I think sad art is more common than angry art) isn’t as common as happy or peaceful art. If you see something that makes you feel happy or peaceful, you’ll probably like it more.

        However, some songs are very angry, and a whole lot more are sad. I feel like songs can sometimes articulate “feels” better than paintings or sculpture (though maybe I personally can just understand “feels” better from music). And when you hear a really angry song (provided it’s in a style of music you enjoy), I think it does more to make you sympathize with the artist’s emotions rather than just feel angry at something yourself.

        On another side, one might say modern society is already full enough of negative emotions and the youth already rebellious and difficult enough, without anger-inspiring art to incite us even more.

        Emily

        Posted by anafricanswallow | January 15, 2013, 4:52 am
  2. Great job on your post! We all love Wally as he brings a lot of emotions out of us all. A never changing character in an ever changing world for sure. Its good to see something a long a different line in your post! I really enjoyed reading your post and liked your idea of using Wally. Oh and i found him too! 🙂

    Posted by yasmeenmezban | January 15, 2013, 3:47 am

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