NOT Art In Divine Proportion To The Art

I seem to have stuck in the genre: my latest posts show lots of images, arts mostly, in a different context from curious, to mystical to  funny — in my opinion, of course, which opinion I ever so gently try to instill into others.

Just as I got my hind in gear and was ready to blog about stuff from the realm other than art, I came about a NOT ART, or rather, THE NOT ART.

This image below is ART, no denying here.

Parmigianino. Conversion of St. Paul. 1528

Parmigianino. Conversion of St. Paul. 1528

This one, on the other hand, is the so called THE NOT ART.  And it is not my opinion. And not the opinion of art critics. This is what the artists themselves call their work. Oh, and they don’t call themselves artists.

NOT The Conversion of St Paul

NOT The Conversion of St Paul

Let’s go at it again. This is ART.

William Bouguereau. Birth of Venus.  1879

William Bouguereau. Birth of Venus. 1879

This s NOT ART.  The two people behind the concept  say they are not artists, they are designers.

Not the Birth of Venus

Not the Birth of Venus

And again: Petrus Christus. Portrait of a Young Girl. c. 1470.

Petrus Christus. Portrait of a Young Girl. c. 1470.

Petrus Christus. Portrait of a Young Girl. c. 1470.

NOT  The Portrait of a Young Girl.

Not The Portrait of the Young Girl

Not The Portrait of a Young Girl

“We’re proud of being designers and not artists, the main difference being that we will sometimes happily admit that we worked on something just for the heck of it and not to claim any deeper meanings and hidden philosophies,” say Hadi Alaeddin and Mothanna Hussein of their series dubbed — what else? — NOT ART.

Perhaps, because it’s much easier to defend your creation if it isn’t in the same category with Vermeer, Parmigianino, Christus and Bouguereau, because it isn’t, in spite of heavy borrowing from the masters.

The Jordan-based designers, who go by the collective name Warsheh, aren’t too shy to admit  using Google Image search to find out about the ART they use in their DESIGNS. They are “refreshingly innocent” of knowing much about the masterpieces or the painters behind the ART from which the NOT ART sprung up. Sometimes it might seem like they even flaunt their ignorance of art history. But never mind that.

Their method is both simple and not so much. In each painting they find a focal point — a “protagonist” — and discard everything else, replacing it with a monochromatic background. Now the tricky part: they don’t simply splat what remains of ART upon the solid backdrop. The two designers splice the “cutout” following the rules of the Divine Proportion, otherwise known as Golden Ratio, or Extreme and Mean Ratio.Divine Proportion

If Euclid confuses you, don’t despair.  Look at it this way: sometimes we stumble upon something or another that we think is undoubtedly perfect. Universally perfect, so to say. Why is it perfect? What secret is hidden in perfection to make it so, well, perfect?

Mathematics has it’s own language of solving every dilemma with a lemma. Formula based on axiom would do too. Perfection? What about it? If  it looks like perfection, behaves like a perfection, lets understand what makes it thus, and derive a formula. Artists (or designers) can apply it and — voila! –– ART. Or NOT ART.

Alaeddin and Mothanna’s endeavor is praised for being refreshing and endearing. Removed from their mother-frames, torn from the familiar, historical or mythical figures were spliced into geometrical figures with no  profound message of any kind except that it’s cool, stunning and pleasing on the eye.  And people liked it.

“The best of Jacques-Louis David, Johannes Vermeer and company gain a hypnotic, contemporary appeal.”

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2 comments on “NOT Art In Divine Proportion To The Art

  1. Golden ratio has long been known (observed) in arts and nature (no great discovery here). Indeed, Google search on “golden ratio in art”, brings hundreds images. The “non-artistic” designers bring a new twist by skillfully dissecting and distilling art objects, not unlike scientists dissecting “natural” objects (of life and matter) into constituent pieces to learn their “hidden truth”.

  2. Aha. Exactly. Here is how the Golden Ratio of Divine Proportion (and about 29 other measures) are applied to study, of all things, facial sex appeal:
    Dr. Kendra Schmid, an assistant professor of biostatistics, calculates these measurements to determine a person’s beauty on a scale of 1 to 10.

    A. First, Dr. Schmid measures the length and width of the face. Then, she divides the length by the width. The ideal result—as defined by the golden ratio—is roughly 1.6, which means a beautiful person’s face is about 1 1/2 times longer than it is wide.

    B. Next, Dr. Schmid measures three segments of the face—from the forehead hairline to a spot between the eyes, from between the eyes to the bottom of the nose, and from the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin. If the numbers are equal, a person is considered more beautiful.

    C. Finally, statisticians measure other facial features to determine symmetry and proportion. On a perfect face, Dr. Schmid says the length of an ear is equal to the length the nose, and the width of an eye is equal to the distance between the eyes.

    Most people score between 4 and 6, and Dr. Schmid says no one has ever been a perfect 10.
    If you don’t measure up to perfect 10, just live with it. Simple mathematics.

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