Lorette C. Luzajic – Four Peacocks
Artist’s Statement: On Beauty and Birds
Vanity and envy are often associated with beauty, but they are ugly things.
They are poisons that erode us from the inside out, and as a result, we are too often contemptuous of what is beautiful.
If we don’t take the time to think it through, we might conclude that the pursuit of beauty is jejune or shallow, and we might feel vindictive toward those that we perceive possess what we don’t. Beauty is only skin deep, we tell ourselves, and those who seek it out value surface pleasure at the expense of the soul.
But beauty does not destroy the soul, and it is not superficial. It is the soul’s very nourishment.
Beauty is not limiting or limited, rather, it is expansive. It does not close the heart, it opens it.
Vanity, envy, obsession, are separate things; they are thieves that jade and mar what is holy.
We must make a conscious decision to liberate ourselves of the instinct to covet and try to hoard that which is by nature elusive.
We may ourselves be plain and homely, but if we condemn the beautiful as shallow tarts, we fail to understand that her gifts are ours. Her beauty is part of the world, and we are exalted by sharing it.
These are the things I contemplated as I walked among the peacocks at the Museo Dolores Olmeda estate grounds in Mexico City, taking pictures.
I was surrounded by unspeakable beauty, by the kind of bird who coyly looked me in the eye and then spread out his fan of a tail for me in all its glory.
All green and blue, and how they sauntered along as if a supermodel’s catwalk was a natural invention of the wild!
There were peacocks everywhere I looked, iridescent and turquoise in the sun.
I thought of Diego Rivera, the famous Mexican muralist, and Dolores, one of his many lovers.
Dolores was not just a businesswoman- she was a titan of industry, a construction magnate. She loved Diego so much that she left her estate to house her priceless collection of Rivera’s- and his wife’s, Frida Kahlo’s- artwork to the world.
I thought of how beauty strikes a chord so deep that it speaks to us through ages, and through birds.
The emotions among the players in this saga were volatile and intense, but the beauty of their mad love, their art, and their tropical paradise is what’s left of the story.
The love of these beautiful women, the paintings, the flowers, and the peacocks belong to all of us now.
Lorette C. Luzajic is an artist and writer from Toronto, Canada. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts in journalism at Ryerson University. Today she is the editor of The Ekphrastic Review: writing and art on art and writing at www.ekphrastic.net and the author of over fifteen books of poetry, fiction, and prose on art and culture. She writes a regular column on Wine and Art at Good Food Revolution. She has also been published in hundreds of print and online journals including Cargo Literary, Donut Factory, Rattle, Adbusters, Modern Poetry, and more. Lorette also incorporates literary themes, poetry, and text into her visual mixed media artwork, which has been exhibited and collected locally and globally, from Italy to India to Mexico. More at www.mixedupmedia.ca.