“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
The very idea of objects pleasing one’s eye depends on the concept of everyone being so vastly different. All we can do is be grateful that this holds true as we imagine the world looking the same; one large monotonous mood board of the same aesthetic, and this is why we have decided to entertain and rejoice the various aesthetics and tastes by presenting to you The Dossier’s first suggestions that are curated by keeping aesthetic choices in mind.
Worry not if you are new to the land of aesthetics. Think of it as a symphony of visuals that tell you what it physically comprises and the very nature of this assembly. Here’s a list of recommendations of each aesthetic-
- Art Aesthetic
Photos have that intriguing quality of having a story stuck in one frame. It is artistic and could be said to belong in the art aesthetic as it is all about lights, colours, and the stillness of the object. Mango Street’s short film, How to Make a Perfect Photo, is what we wish all the tutorials were like, even though it would defeat the purpose of actually learning. In the 2-minute film, you will see diversity, comedy, and an ending that will make you question that you hadn’t been seeing the same film all this time.
Photography captures moments, so almost everyone is a part of someone’s art and is surrounded by art. Some fortunate people have also had a room dedicated to creating very suitable art, called an ‘Art Room,’ yet some people haven’t had the means to play around with art, create art or pick a crayon and draw on wall. Shara McCallum talks about the need to create art that every human has through her poem The Art Room. She dedicates this poem to her sisters as they were immigrants who had grown up without having any resources to spend their time doing the usual childhood activities.
We have to take what we are given and make the best out of it. Life is unpredictable; things are fair and sometimes unfair and almost always overwhelming. Virginia Woolf gave herself up to the water by filling her pockets with stones and drowning herself, and Frida Kahlo painted a bathtub filled with the erratic nature of things that was reflected her in the water, which she called ‘What I Saw in the Water.’ Including all these elements of these artistic events involving water and re-emphasising the tides of life, Florence and the Machine released a song called What the Water Gave Me, which also happened to be another name of Kahlo’s painting, including all these elements of these artistic events involving water and re-emphasizing the tides of life the year 2011. Its video justifies the artistic history it borrows and is an excellent reminder of the video animations trending in 2011.
People often put their stories in the art that they create, and then there are some whose life itself was so momentous that the need to document it is more so seen from the others than from themselves. Autobiographies are a form of art that leave behind fantastical elements and yet create something that draws people into its cold hard truth. Bluets is one such autobiography written by Maggie Nelson that discards fiction and the style of writing followed most commonly in such literature. It uses poetry and creates a lyrical observation of Nelson’s attachment to the colour blue. It strings the events and emotions of a person who has nursed the idea of writing a book on a colour that many have said to have a call for sadness, only to feel that her life is in progress. The book is for those that have yearned for more, wanted a colour for thought, and could not precisely locate the diagnosis to this yearning, this problem.
- Light Academia Aesthetic
If you like to relax with a book in your hand and are also inclined to the Light Academia aesthetic, then the book, The Festival of Insignificance, is the one you need to read. Written by Milan Kundera, the book is all about the light heartiness of multi-layered realities. It talks about “saying not one serious sentence.” The book creates a story out of the lives of 5 cultured individuals who are all exaggerated intellectuals living an animated and profound existence in the otherwise mundane world.
On the other hand, in this dire reality where one wants to either run off to a picturesque beach, becoming one with the waves or live an exciting, adventurous, and prosperous life, the Netflix series named Outer Banks brings both to the lives of 5 teenagers who spend their time searching for long lost treasure in a small and sunny island. They are scurrying after a large amount of gold while tackling greedy parents, professing love in the rain, and promising friendship for the rest of their lives. At the end of this two-season rollercoaster, you will be ready to pack up your bags and live a life of surfing and seeking historical artifacts during a summer break that never seems to end.
The beach and the countless bonfires in this show are a wish that we are restlessly trying to bring into fruitification, but another want or, better yet, a need in all our lives is the care and love that our family provides us. In the poem, On an Unsociable Family, Elizabeth Hands conveys poetry of the receding social nature of the humans who are getting preoccupied in their own world while sharing next to nothing with each other. It has the quality of being quaint and light while also emphasizing the depths of the indifference brewing in our kind. One such piece of literature proves that light academia is more than sunshine but also about the subtler and deeper matters of life.
Contemplating and overthinking one’s life requires a soothing tone blasting into your ears because the contrast heightens every existing emotion that is bubbling inside. Sufjan Stevens is all for providing you soft music with a light composition but equally insightful and emotionally triggering lyrics. He is known for the music lent to Luca Guadaginino’s ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ but his true genius and aesthetic can be experienced in the song, Should Have Known Better, which pairs his soft music with a video of very typical light academia backgrounds. It forces you to take in the lyrics in an optimistic tone as if you were sitting on a checked red and white blanket, under the sun and eating jammed scones, even though it is actually telling a story of a boy in the guilt of his mother passing away.
- Dark Academia Aesthetic
The aesthetic of Dark Academia is all about accepting the part of you that shuns the world’s conventions. Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend is the song you need to listen to (and read) to see the unique way the brand has conveyed their views on the pretentiousness of the society and, well, grammar.
Dan Vera wrote Emily Dickinson in a Poetry Slam, portraying the author as a person going out of her way to stand on a stage and participate in a competition. The poet shows that the smart and the great are often subjected to the same turmoil of the otherwise considered average in this world. Using the subtleties of classic English literature and the grave truths of society today, the poem presents an account of the competition and struggle one faces in their life.
Handsome Devil has the visuals and the depth of the people-cherished Dead Poet’s Society. It is a movie that, apart from casting Andrew Scott as an unorthodox English teacher (sound familiar?), also made the fantastic decision of not subjecting the romance in this film simply to the ignorance of homosexuality but also the nagging regulations of a school and its administration about unlikely “friendships.” It envelopes the viewers in the lushness of Ireland, the craziness of a boarding school, and the whirlwind of Scott’s monologues. The indie music score and the Ed Sheeran hair of the protagonist are an added bonus.
Recognition of overused tropes or cherishing the most amazing ones is a journey every reader has taken up. One such trope is ‘Forbidden Love,’ where the characters are from different social backgrounds, but Atonement by Ian McEwan adds a minor hindrance to such a love story in the shape of a nosy younger sister who is also the narrator or the eyes of the romance. It is a very witty novel that penetrates the depths of a teenage girl who is in love with the boy who is in love with the elder sister. Every step of the book, the author reminds you of the fictitious nature of the book to not let the reader get sucked in by the darkness and mysteries of the characters. As all beautiful classics, this book too has been adapted to the golden screen starring Keira Knightly.
Follow up next month for more suggestions!