The secret power of beauty
The fascination evoked by an object, a person or a landscape is direct, instinctive and immediate. However, the concept of beauty, itself, indefinable and ungraspable, continues to elude us.
We cannot explain why something should fascinate or move us, and the profound mystery of what it is that attracts us remains unfathomable.
The ancient Greeks to whom we owe the expression «beauty lies in the eye of the beholder» tried to determine the extent to which an observer’s history, culture and experience influenced his or her final judgement: is this beautiful in itself or does it appeal to me simply because I am seeing it?
The Greeks considered beauty the key to the Universal Order. Their thinkers and philosophers thought secret of the Kòsmos could be found by fathoming the profound correspondences that exist between natural forms.
The love of beauty is an essential feature of human experience. The very capacity to comprehend beauty embraces every aspect of our way of life, as well as how we conceive ourselves.
The experience of beauty lies at the core of our idea of what counts as the good life: we seek happiness in physical gracefulness, in the interactions between regularity and variety, in harmonic proportions, in the tensions between opposites, in the relations between forms and precise functions.
Guided by the suggestions of John Armstrong (The Secret Power of Beauty) and Umberto Eco (History of Beauty), some photographers with close ties to us, each with his or her own and different sensibility and style, were asked to render this concept. After which, we took this experiment one stage further by devising a correlated lettering and typographical character to valorize each interpretation. The result is a variegated kaleidoscope of fragile, imperfect and visually suggestive impressions, like everything that comes close to the essence of beauty.
“Beauty is but the promise of bliss” - Stendhal