Hymne à la Beauté
Marker, colored pencil, pastels
Artist Statement: This piece that I created is in reference to the famous French poet Charles Baudelaire. I’ve always been interested in the Romantic Era poets such as Edgar Allen Poe and H.P Lovecraft. I was introduced to this poet by my French professor Dr. Natoli when finding inspiration for a piece to submit. She led me through some of his poetry and I instantly felt inspiration to create a piece. The specific poem “Hymne à la Beauté” came from Baudelaire’s book “Les Fleurs du mal” or The Flowers of Evil. The way he wrote this poem was most intriguing to me, as he described an effeminate person to be the most beautiful creature or the most despicable monster. He uses words to juxtapose one another such as “l’abîme” (abyss) and “ciel” (sky) to describe this individual. This view of the person gave us, the reader, an image of someone who Baudelaire believed was hauntingly fascinating. This piece relates to Filth and Foulness due to the explicit nature this poem holds. Baudelaire exposes this person as such a grotesque yet gorgeous being. I added in the outsider’s hands into the image as a way to objectify this exposed person and being do dangerously desirable. I drew the two halves similar to the storyline itself, such as the siren half, as well as the coffin that lays below the person. I also took the line “Blessed be this flambeau!” to focus on this person’s hair on the “fair one” side. The strong ‘flame’ they describe gave me inspiration to create a strong emphasis on hair as it could represent an active flame. I wanted to capture as much of the poem stated whilst adding my own perspective of what it truly means into an art piece.