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Western theories about beauty were perceived in the works of the early thinkers of ancient Greece, who linked their origin to objective discussions and descriptions. The classic concept of beauty passed through a punctual theoretical study, evaluated in a rational sphere.
From the XVI Century, scholars, philosophers, thinkers and artists began to discuss a subjectivity in the concept of beauty, questioning its classic concept.
Philosopher and historian David Hume (XVIII Century) was an important part of this process, stating in his studies that ” Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty. ”
In 1878, writer Margaret Wolfe Hungerford popularized such a discussion by revisiting Hume’s phrase, which gave rise to discussions between objectivity and the conceptual subjectivity of beauty, the core of philosophical issues. According to Hungerford, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
The phrase, sometimes misinterpreted by some, reminds us of the complexity of this evaluation and the recognition of beauty related to its origin: nature.
We are aware of the need to review our own values and our relationship with nature, to fully understand the concept of beauty and to come to digest in a philosophical way such a concept, also treated in a special way by the Arts.
From the XX Century, similar to the concept of Art, the concept of beauty compels us to analyze historical factors of humanity, of different cultures and times, of different visions and behaviors. As in Art, one of the most important details to consider is the interpretation of the situationist aspects, initiated in the evolutionary process, challenging the classic theses.
The work of the artist Leopoldo Martins (born 1961), entitled Muses, proposes a dialogue between both concepts, that is, the objectivity and subjectivity of beauty, where technique and philosophy are translated through the aesthetic vision of an artist who is aware of the space and dominates the materials.
During his long career, Martins was able to present through his Art the beauty firstly in the form of feline animalis, passing harmoniously to the exercise of interpretation of human beauty in its greatest expression, the feminine body.
The artist’s work, meticulous in his materials and his personal relation to the matter, instigates us to recognize that beauty goes beyond the classical theoretical discussions and touches us in a human, intellectual and natural way.
In every line and every curve of Leopoldo Martins, there is a reason and a thought, and there is a philosophical beauty intrinsic to the theoretical execution, which the artist has so easily mastered.
Once again in an innovative series, Leopoldo Martins represents in a poetic way the curves of the female body without portraying them vulgarly, instead, translating through their sculptures the movements, forces and gestures of those who feed us daily in a natural and harmonic way.
The Muses of Leopoldo Martins are beautiful women and companions, who provide us with the feeling of the relationship between Art and the Sacred, as in ancient artworks, but in a contemporary contemplative reinterpretation.
There is certainly harmony between artwork, observer, material and nature, which proves us that beauty is something even higher than mere human theories.
The artist work reflects ourselves in what we observe and urges us to return to the appreciation of nature as a way of inspiring our actions.
With an international career already consolidated, the artist Leopoldo Martins follows in the footsteps of Minas Gerais State´ masters in the Arts. Research, knowledge and wisdom, translate his work in Universal language, fulfilling his role in Art History in Brazil.
Ricardo Fernandes, 2013
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