.. why


beauty from disorder


H.M. "Junked Bench Seat" (2017)         


In ideas - the site's introductory note - I have explored the way in which the universal human passion for imposing order among things engenders a distinct class of visual beauty from order.  But there is, of course, vastly more to beauty than simply looking orderly or pleasingly well-wrought, or than celebrating order-making activities. Often the disturbing sight of calamity and disarray packs just as much aesthetic punch, so the galleries gathered under beauty from disorder examine this effect from several angles. 


Knowing that mankind reacts strongly to scenes where proper order is badly askew, and that our dismay primes us for aesthetic repulsion, I have sought out beauty within discordant contexts of chaos, decline, or frightening spiritual darkness.  These are venues where the paradoxical appearance of beauty might prove striking and might operate emotionally as a balm to the act of looking at painful things. 


My images call forth the latent beauty in random disasters, cast-off detritus, dead machinery, collapsing roadways, gibberish signage, garbage dumps, and piles of deadly car wrecks.  Other images exalt the poignant dignity of formerly vibrant organisms that have died or are spiraling downward.


The felt internal tension between the viewer's pull toward the visual loveliness, on the one hand, and the urge to pull away from repellant content, on the other, is what creates these highly charged art experiences.