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Some people say the importance we give to a beautiful surface, to art, to appearance is shallow. Artworks contributor Joakim Sjunnesson argues the opposite: There’s depth in the superficial.

3 min read

“The power of love, a force from above, cleaning my soul”. This is the beginning of the fabulous chorus from Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s epic love song “The Power of Love” from 1984. Not only being one of the most intense power ballads of our time it speaks the truth: Love is a great force. A life changer. I argue that the same goes for beauty and what it does to us. 

The joy I find in looking at beautiful objects, art or with taking care of my appearance (OK, let’s call it vanity) is important to me. It does something to me. It’s a very meaningful activity in itself because it gives me a sense of harmony and I associatee it to a feeling of being mindful. Spiritual. I believe it’s a matter of composition, colour and interesting contrastation that get’s me going. Like the classical artists and art historians have shown and argued for centuries. The devil’s in the details. Of course, beauty comes in many forms and ways. The beauty I refer to here's mostly visual. 

My last satisfying experiences of this nature took place at the current exhibition “Lumière” by the French fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier at Fotografiska and when I saw the film “Moonlight”. The latter the Academy Award winner for best film at this year’s Oscar’s. Both are must sees and soo sexy I almost melted. Demarchelier’s photos are crisp and among the most gracefully in 80s and 90s fashion. The performances and photography in “Moonlight” made me speechless. Even the old Caravaggio would faint. 

Connected to this, I think, lies the beauty we create when we tend to our own vanity and when we groom and shape our own lifestyles. There’s something very human going on here. The need to be accepted, a sense of inner expression, insecurity, security, power, imagination. All different ways of communication. So much can be said about us in the ways we dress, mirror ourselves in others, how we are drawn to beauty. I think most of us are sensitive, curious and spiritual in these ways. We want to consume, transform, become, search. We want! Great potential for a profound sense of freedom can be found in the quest for and cultivation of beauty in ourselves and around us. 

When we experience beauty something happens to us. We get a sense of peace. The feeling that everything’s in it’s right place. The trick is to be aware of this and to use it so that we can learn and grow. We should be grateful to be alive in such a beautiful world. 

What's my mission here? You got it: More beauty and vanity to the people! Let’s go sublime.