extra credit ” LINDA WEINTRAUB” —-shiyang zheng

A new view of the meaning of beauty was presented by LINDA WEINTRAUB, who is an artist, curator, educator, and the author of Avant-Guardians. Instead of focusing on virtual beauty such as painting, Linda introduced imaginary beauty, elevated the meaning of beauty to a new level, a new field of study. What is imaginary beauty? Different from virtual beauty, Imaginary beauty concerns on the association of the object, but the material appearance.

In 1960, an artist called Sophia did an interesting survey about the meaning of the beauty. She asked the blind people in hospital, what is beauty? Some said the sea, because is peaceful and relaxing. Some said forest, because it is refreshing. Amazingly, the beauty even connects to blind people. The blind can’t see the world, however, they can sense beauty, and associate their spiritual world with beauty. The association can also be something cultural and traditional.

Personally, I very agree Linda’s imaginary view of beauty. Today, the beauty is no longer purely virtual satisfaction. We sense beauty from ears, nose, skin, and more importantly — our feeling. In many art exhibitions today, there are more and more abstract art associates with imaginary beauty. For example:abstract-art-41


What are they? It’s very hard to understand, because the pattern is unclear and well structured.  But you will get a certain impression that associates with certain feeling or emotion. In order to understand, you need to open your imagination/ associates with your life experience etc. Abstract art is the art between you and artwork, it depends how you communicate with it. Therefore, there is no certain/right answer in this kind of format of presentation.

The abstract art is the art in 19th and 20th century. The art today is still abstract but more applicable such as propagation of environmental protection. Linda then starts to explain the relation between beauty of ecology system and human. In her opinion, the beauty defines your relationship between you and the world. , What does beauty look like when it relates to ecology system, environment issue, how many ways of the beauty can be presented? She mentioned an artist Andy Goldsworthy using natural materials and all by hands for his artworks. He demonstrates how we could protect our environment at the same time make it beautiful. The other artist Denial Charles, his art works are sharp and disgusted. His show of human death is ugly. However, he successfully evokes public response and understanding of the importance of beauty, the importance to cherish the earth and life.


“Ecological concepts of continuity and interdependence are renegade forces. They not only transform existing patterns of material consumption and production, they destabilize social values and disrupt aesthetic conventions. Even the notion of beauty is overhauled by the ecological mandate to embrace all aspects of the life cycle – decay as well as growth. Artists who demonstrate radical beauty are renegade aestheticists. They demonstrate that the greening of society depends as much upon revising human values as reforming human behaviors.”


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