August 22, 2008

Fashion and art

Fashion and art

Fashion and art, happily married
Beauty can adopt many forms.
(Scan from ÚNICA, magazine in Spanish)

In a previous article I wrote about how in Zen there are many ways through art to attaining inner peace and wisdom. And in general in Japan, for example, there is not a clear differentiation between arts and crafts. Even the most humble manual labor can be a fabulous way into comprehension of Reality.

In the same way, I think that potentially many activities can be transformed in true art if we confront them with humility, reverence, meditation and the necessary (and continuing) apprenticeship. Even blogging can be a meditative experience and an art, why not...

There are no minor arts.
Poetry and meditation.

Oriental painters and artists always liked to mix different arts and activities. So, we can find many times a poem in a painting describing the feelings and experiences resulting from its contemplation.

I always liked that approach.

And in Zen, as I previously said, there are not major arts and minor arts.

So, for me as well there are no “minor” arts, if the artist approach them with poetry and contemplation. Poetry, in reality (and in the sense ancient Greeks understood It) is the connection between men and the Universal Mind. Contemplation and meditation are an exercise of receptivity, to be open into transcendence, humility, Silence. At least that is the way I see them.

A painter in Fashionland

So when I approach some apparently mundane activities like fashion, styles, trends... I see all of this with the eyes of a painter and a poet, with a sense of reverence in many cases, I can see wonderful combinations of colors, delicate nuances, I see creative rhythms and textures, I see an honest effort to express creativity clothing the human body.

And when models are on the catwalk in performance, if models and designers did their job with dedication and love, I can see sublime elegance, I can see real works of art, a living art, “body art”. I even see marvelous paintings being carried by models themselves, over their bodies.

Fashion in summer

Fashion and summer
The limit is elegance. When elegance is lost, all is lost.
(Scan from ÚNICA, magazine in Spanish)

Fashion designers are not different from us, painters, in many ways. Perhaps some of us have a greater sense of transcedence and durability of our work, but in reality all that matters is contributing to the world with inner beauty and elegance, as in spirituality all that matters, I think, is compassion.

No sunset is lost.
Every experience is a fountain of learning.

I must admit that lately I don’t paint as much as I should do, but I have now more clear ideas about art than before, I know much better what I like to do, what my vision of art is.

During seven or eight years I did not write a single poem (and I’m a poet in a minoritary, wonderful language, Aragonese...), but I remember that period, nevertheless, as the most poetic in all my life. I WAS a poet then, although I did not write any poem. I watched every day, in silence, like praying, the most magnificent sunsets in the deserts, I inhabited the purplish mountains in my dreams...

When I’ll begin to paint anew, my paintings will have the colors of my lands of poetry, the colors of my meditations, of all my failures from which I learned some humility, lessons from the Silence.

When I’ll begin to paint anew my paintings will have the colors of fashion, of beautiful movies, the colors of women and elegance, of sunsets' purples, of books that one reads with the heart, of little and great things, the colors of life, victories, defeats.

Juan Bielsa

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