Beauty has become a bad word in the art world today, it seems. Scoffed and mocked as all eyes turn to political, social, and ecological concerns. The Venice Biennale was packed with those concerns. Art schools are emphasizing them. It's in the air, the water, the canvas, the texts.  "Social Justice" has been so overused now, though, that it feels like skin rubbed raw. Yes, we want it! Yes, we really need it! But we also need soothing periodically so our souls don't look like that thing boxed at the back of the refrigerator. I thought about all the overused sayings floating around for "beauty," and decided to investigate.

…skin deep. Ouch, don't do that. I thought there was more, but it's a façade. Nice to look at. What? I've forgotten it. Temporary pleasure.

…comes from within. I have X-ray eyes. I can see from where this sprung, time deep, set with a sapphire. An intricate spinning, set on firm foundation. Emotional ground or passion for meaning, message. Deep-rooted desire.

…in the eye of the beholder. You be you. I'll be me. We'll never agree. One size doesn't fit all. Subjectively defined.

…the beast. Convince me. But you have to come out of hiding and step into the light. The edge of the divine.

truth in…. Now I know, I really know. I understand everything. Gravity, earth, the sun.

…a joy forever. I can look at it all day and it invigorates me, touches me, tingles. Satisfies as it soars. All in one.

The word "beauty" for an artwork is being used badly, and now misunderstood. To continue with the theme of acceptance and inclusion I've been mulling over this year: let's look at beauty and, and social justice and beauty. Balance, as usual, hand in hand. Nice to meet you.