Artist eyes see beauty in the things we discard. What are some examples of artists celebrating the well-worn, the battered, and the broken?
Artist Naoko Fukumaru
2021 Website Statement
‘Kintsugi, the art of golden joinery, is a five-hundred-year-old Japanese method of restoring damaged ceramics using special tree sap dusted with gold powder to highlight (rather than hide) restorations. Kintsugi celebrates imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness by creating the beautifully broken’.
Most unusually for the time, Van Gogh chose to paint a series of beaten up work boots at the end of his Paris stay, prior to moving to the South of France. Van Gogh would apparently buy old shoes at the Paris Flea Market, trudge around in them until they were good and dirty – aka sufficiently characterful – then paint.
Vincent van Gogh. A Pair of Shoes. 1887
Vincent Van Gogh. Shoes. 1888
Vincent Van Gogh. A Pair of Shoes. 1888
The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence
Things Men Have Made
Things men have made with wakened hands, and put soft life into are aware through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing for long years.
And for this reason, some old things are lovely
warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.
Olivia and the Missing Toy.
Ian Falconer. 2003
In another wonderful Olivia book, our feisty piglet discovers her well-loved toy has encountered a sharp-toothed, midnight monster…
And on Smash, we see Megan Hilty singing Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s beautiful song: ‘Second-Hand Baby Grand’. ‘Something second-hand and broken still can make a pretty sound.’
Header Photo: Elizabeth Newton