“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.”
– Pierre-Auguste Renoir
I absolutely adore this quote. Why shouldn’t art (of all forms) be pretty, indeed? When did culture shift to the stance where everything has to be “edgy,” or somehow coarse and brutal?
Particularly in writing. I go to the bookstore, and so much of what is on the shelves is all about pain, horror, or just plain ugliness. Why?
I get that you can’t write stories without conflict, and I get that there is a lot of ugliness in the world. But do we really have to bathe in it? I recently flipped through several books by a writer who is extremely popular at the moment, just to see what all the buzz was about. For the rest of the day, my perceptions felt poisoned. I couldn’t look at people without imagining some sort of twisted, frightening secret buried underneath their innocuous exteriors.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to feel like that every day. I prefer to celebrate beauty, even if it is beauty that shines through pain.