The Aesthetics of Mayan Beauty

Mayan sculpture replica

Almost one year ago, I found a quiet and tranquil place to ponder the tough questions:

What is art and what is handicraft?

Am I the oppressor, the oppressed or both?

Why is Cubism not folk-art?

Does a painting become a handicraft if it is exhibited in restaurant and does a handicraft become art if it is exhibited in a museum?

When will sompopos de mayo arrive?

As the rainy season approaches (it rained yesterday in San Pedro Las Huertas, but not in La Antigua Guatemala), I begin to drown in thoughts. Here I go again pondering the big tough questions:

What is beuty and can we universally measure it?

What are the aesthetics of beauty?

Is beauty eternal or is beauty trapped in time?

Is art beautiful; does it have to be beautiful?

What makes Mayan art beautiful or not beautiful?

Please, help me find the answers for these questions. I need to know!

Antique Mayan Sculpture Replica

P.S. Today we begin the count down for the third anniversary of La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo to be observed on May 1st, 2009.

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • So.. where is the 3rd anniversary Celebration ?

    Btw, yesterday’s rainfall is due to a Mild Cold Front, rainy season has not arrived yet, please wait aprox. 2 more weeks, by the end of this week Will have the result of the FClimatic Outlook forescast 2009 for the rainy season in Climaya.com

    The other questions are to “mystical” or subject for me to answer, but i heard some art definitions on the radio aprox 1 week ago.

    “It is defined as anything that can be displayed and admired by anyone in anyplace and anytime, it “traciende” the time and space and relates to an intrinsic beauty. ¿? well i guess something about it, what do u think ?

  • Nelo

    And where is going to be the celebration my friend?

    Congrats rudy, a friend of mine said “i wanna be as you when i grown up” i’m sure you know him.

    art is the expresion of ideas from someone in any way he or she decided. and handicraft is serial art until they still they made it by hand because this makes unique every piece.

  • Erick

    I’m far from being an art connoisseur, but I think that art, just like people, can come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors, which is why it would be impossible to universally measure its beauty. The sayings, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, come to mind when I think of art — what’s incredibly ugly to me, can be mesmerizing to someone else; even if I have “superior” taste ;).

  • Stephanie

    Beautiful art…beautiful photo…beautiful questions. If you live with the questions long enough the answers will either become obvious or irrelevant…..Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s the best answer I have. They are profound questions and worth living with.

  • Claudia

    bueno bueno . . . congratulations on your upcoming anniversary. I am an antiguadailyphoto groupie. Ha ha. As far as the questions, cliche but I’ll ditto Erick on beauty is in the eye of the beholder . .

  • emromesco

    This guy seems to either 1)be pondering some serious stuff or 2) have some sort of upset stomach (insert the Pepto-Bismol song here).

    However, I do think Mayan pottery (ancient and contemporary) is (are?) beautiful because I feel it with my gut.

  • Eric

    Wow, tough questions ! I am no scholar, but I would say :
    1) Beauty is anything that makes one smile. Measuring it is up to the beholder.
    2) The aesthetics begin on a scale with las mujeres guatemaltecas at the very top….
    3) Beauty is as eternal as the memory it creates.
    4) Art is in the eye of the beholder, right next to beauty. It just has to stir the soul.
    5) Mayan art is beautiful because … it comes from the souls of Mayans!
    Maybe I’ve been in the copier room too long (lots of fumes in here), or maybe I really need one of Fernando’s capuccinos, but that’s what I think. Felicitaciones ! You are a philosopher as well as a chronicler of La Antigua’s daily life.

  • Ale

    This is a beautiful photo, Rudy. Regarding Art, well, let me just say that even with a masters in Art History, the reality is that it’s in the eye of the beholder. Art vs. Folk Art, cubism, renissance.. it’s all beautiful.

  • Santiago

    I was working with a medical team in Chicacao, Suchitepéquez, yesterday. We had a very strong thunderstorm in the afternoon that lasted for over an hour. Lot of heavy rain, wind and lightening. Looks like rainy season may come a little early this year.