"Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder"
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a phrase that I have always liked, so much to paint on a hand, without any pretense of being original. It appears in a lot of authors from ancient Greece, passing through Shakespeare and Goethe, to the present day. A good adage for all seasons, at the bottom.
The first time I read it and I was impressed I was no more than thirteen years and I read it in a comic book. I could be wrong, but I remember that it was de: "The child at One Size", published in 1972 in the Mondadori Oscar, a collection of strips of Charlie Brown. Parodiing Marcuse that with "the man at One dimension" dictated the agenda of the sixty-eighth riots, perhaps that was the first comic book of Ch. M. Schultz to arrive in my house, in my father's hand, that in the pauses of his historical readings he amused himself as mad at Read author Comics. The phrase I vaguely remember in the mouth of the wise Linus, but it could also be Snoopy. The memory however pronounced as polite answer to a compliment. It was this particular meaning that struck me. I still mean it in that sense: if you see some beauty in me, or in what I do, it's because there is a beautiful inside of you. If I do something nice, it's not all my merit, even you who admire you are doing your part. Much less I like the more widespread interpretation, such as the quote from David Hume:
"Beauty in things exists merely in the mind which contemplates them."
And that is: "The beauty of things exists only in the mind that contemplates them." Practically a manifesto of the aesthetic relativism of the series: "It is not beautiful what is beautiful, but it is beautiful what pleases", to stay on the homemade and without disturbing moms and scarraphones.
Yet in that beauty that slumbers within the eye of the observer and who does not wake up until he comes into resonance with a creation outside of him, I find the most beautiful sense of the phrase. I could fix Hume's shot by saying,
"Beauty in things also exists in the mind (in the eye) of those who contemplate them."
I can create admirable works but if in those who observe there is not at least the category of beauty, if there is not at least a glimmer of harmony, the works remain inert, dead, useless. Art is there to be contemplated by those who already possess an idea, perhaps confused, perhaps unconsidered, but an idea of beauty within oneself. I do not believe in the artist's misunderstood and incomprehensible hero, nor the observer who decides to attribute artistic value to what he wants according to the convenience or emotion of the moment. I believe that the work of art establishes a relationship, a dialogue between those who create and who observes and that the two sides must have a ground, a common language. Every artist tries to awaken in the observer his idea of beauty. He provokes him, sometimes, mocks him, mocks him, delights him, adula him or simply satisfies him, when he does not want to risk, but always has to deal with the mirror neurons of his user.
Explained in a few words even in this very short video extracted from a film with Ben Kingsley, Elegia d'amore.