- Arts and Design
Bones Are Beautiful
Bones Are Beautiful Aesthetically And Philosophically
Bones are beautiful, for reasons that aren't necessarily obvious some ways, and completely obvious in others. Artists have poured over bones for centuries in part because they help to identify realistic musculature and form for the human figure, and also in part because they are, to paraphrase June Carter Cash, "Just so derned interestin'!!!" Two artists that immediately come to mind are Georgia O'Keefe and Jean Michelle Basqiat, you can find many works of art created by them that glorify in one way or another, skeletons and skulls.
But you don't need to be an artiste to appreciate the favorability of animals calciferous center! Everyone who's ever eaten a great slab of Southern smoked ribs will tell you, the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat! Speaking as a self-proclaimed culinary guerilla/voodoo chef, bones lend a flavor to meat that is uncanny in it's minerality and other subtle and robust flavors.
Another reason bones are beautiful, is that they are mysterious. Bones are the infrastructure of the body after all. You can see all the tiny modifications of time that it took for those bones to arrive at the shape they are today. When you see a skeleton you can see how the rib cage protects and contains the viscera of the animals body, like some sort of mythical cage for the heart! Knee and elbows connecting the arms and legs are a miracle in and of themselves and you can quickly appreciate the strength needed by muscles and ligaments to pull those powerful appendages about. If we animals are amber spirits, if our muscles are luminous as many a Renaissance artist spent days and weeks trying to prove, then our beautiful bones must be the fly in the amber so to speak. A record of a millennia of information mostly lost to time, but still there for all to see.
Why Are Bones So Beautiful?
The Skull Is Perhaps The Most Beautiful Bone Of Them All!
The Attic Of The Body Is Housed In The Skull
Why is the skull a beautiful bone? Why? Because that's where the party's at! All that thinking needs to be under serious protected supervision. From the tiny field mouse or anole, to the ten ton sperm whale or the now extinct woolly mammoth, all creatures need to check their head!
There is an anonymous quote that says it all, "We can communicate an idea around the world in 70 seconds, but it sometimes takes years for an idea to get through a 1\4 inch of the human skull."
Why is that? Maybe the skull is too strong for it's own good! Therein must lie the etymology behind the moniker "numb skull".
All humor aside, from an aesthetic point of view, the skull is wonder of form. It looks as a though it were shaped to travel aerodynamically through space and time. It's shape is curving and sinewy, as though the Great Spirit puffed a blast of smoke and procured the perfect form. The teeth stand as a picket fence of utility. The eye sockets are dark and foreboding under some light, but somehow roundly humorous in other light. The hinge of the jaw looks like a gate that was designed by an army of master engineers. While the skull cap retains it's own character of expression. Even as pure bone the skull looks as though it is living all on it's own. Creepy in a way, but a beautiful bone in another.
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Beautiful Bones In Conclusion
Bones for many people are a morbid, maybe even dark reminder of animals inevitable fate. But it is that very fate, that limited terminality, that emboldens artists to admire bones. Bones are beautiful because they are inherently strong, firm, unmoving, porous, rigid and yet still at some point, quite prone to being broken. Bones are mysterious because of this duality, and it's that ambiguity that makes bones beautiful.