Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Aristocrat vs. Valentino

Roman Busts

Valentino Bust

During our time spent in Rome, I encountered numerous busts. I rediscovered that marble was chiseled out in the facial form of whoever could afford it. It was a beautiful way for the rich aristocrate or the talented artist, to extend their legend past their lifetime. It was a picture prior to the invention of photography, and ancient head shot if you will. Each bust is entirely different than the one next to it. Today, however, the art of descriptive busts has faded into the background, and only the repetitive standard form remains. The sculpted face has become a backdrop to seven white Valentino dresses, instead of the descriptive story it once told. Hand crafted marble has been replaced by plastic mold spray painted gold. With the invention of not only photography, but also mass communication and technology, art no longer has to tell such a vivid account of a person’s life.

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