Many artists like to produce perfect artworks- that is understandable. They see beautiful works of art before them in museums, cities and in homes; and now in the media. So the quest for perfection is ‘even more in your face’- if your work is not perfect, perhaps you are not perfect. I have now heard from two artists who are suffering from depression and exhaustion, trying to be perfect, and trying to produce perfect pieces of art. There is a Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which actually elevates imperfection
But there is a Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, which actually elevates imperfection. So cracks in pottery are filled with gold, literally emphasizing and embellishing the imperfection, instead of hiding it. The Wabi-Sabi aesthetic is a beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete’. It is quite like our physical selves- our bodies are not perfect but using clothes, shoes and make-up we make them look perfect. But the most memorable faces are those that highlight imperfection- such as David Bowie’s mismatched eyes. The actress Jennifer Grey who had her nose done, regretted it- she felt she had lost herself or her unique character.
These are two pieces of pottery that I found destined for the skip. The creator had discarded them in this bin in a pottery workshop.
I took them home and I have used them regularly for the last three years. They have not broken or cracked (and I have washed them in the dishwasher) and were perfect the way I have used them. As I use them, I thank the creator of these two pieces and sometimes feel sorry that in the quest for perfection, the artist threw away two little gems. I am pleased they came my way- each time I look at them, I think about the imperfection of life and how we can create value of each imperfection through acceptance, patience and love.