“Beauty is difficult, Yeats” said Aubrey Beardsley
when Yeats asked why he drew horrors
or at least not Burne-Jones
and Beardsley knew he was dying and had to
make his hit quickly
Hence no more B-J in his product.
So very difficult, Yeats, beauty so difficult.
So, famously, wrote Ezra Pound in Canto LXXX, recounting a cocktail party exchange between William Butler Yeats (Pound having served as Yeats’ personal secretary) and artist of the exquisite, the grotesque, the decadent, Aubrey Beardsley
Yet perhaps, thanks to the iPhone, the difficulty of beauty is no longer quite as true as it once was. An entirely new artistic medium is, perhaps, emerging: iPhontography, dedicated to photos taken on the iPhone.
Singer/songwriter Knox Bronson has recently published www.iPhontography.org to the World Wide Web, a site with which this writer, entranced, is associating himself:
a site dedicated to iPhone photography, the wondrous digital imagery made with the iPhone, reaffirming, for us, anyway, that the eye of the artist is always more important than the technology in the creation of beautiful art.
For a handful of clicks you may send along your iphontographs for review by the gallerist of a prominent Berkeley, California art gallery for consideration to be printed and hung in a show to take place early next year, and to be included in its catalogue. And you may vote, and have your friends vote, on your artistry.
Or merely to go and marvel at the emergence of a new populist art form. Ah, the Web!
Political relevance? Zero.
High coolness factor? Priceless.
Ralph Benko, a principal of Capital City Partners, of Washington DC, is the author of The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World, the eBook of which may be downloaded without charge from www.thewebstersdictionary.com.