Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beauty as Distraction

Adele Horin has a nice piece in Fairfax today: 'The true face of artistic beauty'.

She's not suggesting beauty isn't important.  Instead, inspired by Margaret Olley's example, she's arguing that the narrow pursuit of a 'youthful' facade is a distraction from more worthwhile enterprises.

I might also add: allure and charm, like happiness, are real - but they're often gained in pursuit of other goods.  As ends in themselves they're frequently self-defeating - vanity can be an ugly vice.

(Image: 'Margaret Olley', by Ben Quilty, courtesy of the Art Gallery of New South Wales)

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