Friday, January 29, 2016

Jolie laide

"Jolie laide" is a french term that refers to an unconventionally beautiful woman.  Like someone with a prominent nose or unusual feature that makes them uniquely striking.  (laide = ugly, jolie = pretty)
Wikipedia has a good description that goes on to say:
...it also recognizes that behind the visceral image lies an internal life.[1] As the literary critic Daphne Merkin put it, jolie laide is "a triumph of personality over physiognomy, the imposition of substance over surface."
I like the same idea applied to art and life.  Especially the idea that it takes more than a passing glance to appreciate this kind of beauty.  There's interest and depth and maybe it challenges your ideas.

I would like to work towards creating things with more interest and depth.  This wrinkled face was partly inspired by the Native Americans from The Revenent, and partly an attempt at something a little more jolie laide.
12" x 12" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas
After I took this picture, I added more color.  I thought it would look better with natural colors - not just yellow, black and blue.  But I think I like it less now.  I lost some of the expression and the gnarly wrinkles.  The first version was more ghostly.
12" x 12" x 0.5" acrylic on canvas
Eh.  Neither one is going to the Louvre, so it's all good.

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