.. 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 emotional impact of disorder packs just as much aesthetic punch, and the galleries in beauty from disorder examine this effect from several angles. 


Knowing that mankind reacts strongly to scenes where proper order is badly missing, and that our alarm at the sight of disorder contains an aesthetic dimension, I have consciously sought out beauty in dissonant contexts of chaos, disarray, 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, piles of deadly car wrecks, and the poignant dignity of formerly vibrant organisms in death or steep decline.


The felt internal tension between the viewer's pull toward the visual loveliness, on the one hand, and an urge to pull away from the repellant content, on the other, becomes the essence of these ambivalent aesthetic experiences.