Troy is the third & final artist I asked to write for my series on illness & physical beauty. I met Troy long before I knew what an autoimmune disorder was, let alone that I would one day be battling three of them. One of the first pieces of his work that I saw was a beautiful table made from piece of wood that was clearly imperfect. Knowing how he looked at imperfection, I thought he was a natural choice, when I started considering how disease can affect not just our inside, but our outside. Here are his thoughts:
I am attracted to beauty as an artist. I do not believe art is cold to humanity or any part of nature. Artists are inspired by both. Artists and humans (tongue in cheek) find attraction stems from vast and ever changing attributes of perfect quality, as well as, imperfection.
Your question of, “Do artists see diseased people, objections, or situations as beautiful?” The answer is, yes.
If, the question is being asking introspectively about your beauty, as a recovering young woman from an illness; let me say, with respect and compliments to your husband, you are as attractive today as when I met you as a fit young 18 year old.
I thought of this subject yesterday as I was installing my work into an exhibition at The Museum of the Rockies. The exhibition is of Artisans Woodworkers; many in the show are what I would consider refined craftsmen creating proportionally correct furniture from traditional designs. In contrast, within the show, is my work and the work of my friend Amber Jean a fellow sculptor of wood. The raw materials Amber and I sculpt from are less than perfect. Wood, others in the show may consider rotted firewood, might become the focal point of my sculpture. Amber overlooks perfect hardwood planks and instead sculpts from rustic bark-on logs.
Human perception of beauty is interesting. Most humans evaluate the changes taking place in nature as beautiful, per example: weathered wood, wind blown and water worn rocks, trees diseased and altered by burls (cancer). Most find these changes desirable. I am surprised the beauty nature imposes on the human body is seldom viewed in the same manner. As an artist, I find these changes of human appearance amazing. I believe it is most likely these same people disregarding the changes in nature as “beautiful.” They too, are “misinformed” when they look at themselves in the mirror through the decades. Disease speeds the changes of time, accepting the “fast forward,” may be difficult for the person in the “mirror.” As an artist, I am intrigued with the beauty of the “fast forward.”
Time changes us all in the physical sense, illness speeds this change, common stress speeds this change, and environments speed this change. Grace allows some people to be physically beautiful for the duration of their time on earth . . . most of us have to instead make style adjustments as we go. Style is the ability to shout without speaking. I believe, all of us and all things have the inherent ability to project beauty into this world. You own style, you own beauty.