Beautiful imperfection: real beauty is rooted in reality. Give up the pursuit of perfection—visual perfection can be cold and unforgiving. Things yield their value at different rates. Enjoy things that aren’t obviously beautiful, or even a little clumsy, if they engage the senses in other ways.
So says Ilse Crawford, designer and creative director who launched British Elle Decoration 20 years ago. “Engaging the senses” is more than just employing the see/touch/taste/feel/ear array of experiences. There are variations within the visual that continue to astound me as I paint, all these years later.
And yes, it is a recurring theme. I have referenced the extraordinary book, The Eyes of the Skin by architect Juhani Pallasmaa in an earlier post, but have yet to write in more detail about how powerfully this book has deepened my understanding and awareness of these issues. It is such a great title and such a great concept. That discussion is coming, I promise.
In the meantime, I loved what artist and critic Susana Jacobson wrote about my work in the show currently on exhibit at the Brooklyn Workshop Gallery. I was flattered by her words of course but also so enchanted by her suggestion of the all-seeing body, its pores employed with their own kind of seeing:
Deborah Barlow’s newest paintings are sensually generous offerings of luminous color. Like wet light tossed up and caught in acts of implication, they conjure the multiple sensations experienced when our physical boundaries are dissolved. Merging with places where nature and culture intersect, Barlow converts her powers of observation to the experience of vision as a whole body sensation, as though her pores could see.
And some good news—the show has been extended through August. Heading that way now to do a few days of gallery talks and events.
You can read another review of the show by David St. Lascaux at Interrupting Infinity.