Creative Freedom

What Is Beauty?

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PREP recently sponsored a film project for youth to create a short video of their own making using their own voice. A public showing was held at the Launchpad in Carbondale, CO where the audience members were moved; some to tears, by the messages they heard from these young people.

One of the young videographers created a piece that asked a simple question. A simple question with no simple answer: What is beauty? Strong points are made regarding the power of perception, both negative and positive. How perception can lead to depression. Or confidence and self-assuredness. Judgments on how beauty is defined are questioned. Beauty as the media would define it is questioned. Does beauty come from within? From with-out?

These questions were in the forefront of my mind as I had the honor of visiting the Museum of Modern Art in New York City shortly after the film presentation. With the question, “What is beauty?” and my knowledge of Picasso’s paintings in mind, I headed straight for the Picasso sculpture exhibit. Certainly I would find answers here.

Picasso Woman




Pregnant Woman

Pregnant Woman

Picasso Woman with a Baby Carriage2

Woman With a Baby CarriagePicasso Woman with a Baby Carriage

Not unlike his paintings, Picasso’s sculptures – that must be considered beautiful as they were proudly displayed in a world renowned art museum! – had distorted and abstract features. And yet they caught people’s attention: they brought crowds of people in.

People stopped.

People studied.

People stared.

People listened to their tour guide explain the history, origin and meaning.

People appreciated.

People were moved.

Moved by beauty.

Moved by the beauty of distortion.

Moved by beauty in its abstract form.

Moved by beauty that does not fit the messages we see in the media.

Moved, hopefully, to return to their daily lives with a better definition of what beauty is.

Moved perhaps a little closer to the end of the rainbow.