Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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This is entry #37 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Eva M. Dadlez (University of Central Oklahoma)

Artwork: Tina Bafaro (tattooist) in collaboration with Inga Duncan Thornell (recipient), tattoo done after a bilateral mastectomy, taking over two and a half years (at one Sunday a month) to complete

Words: Despite a personal weakness for Narnian verdure and woodland creatures, I am not inclined to consider this tattoo art because of what is depicted or because of the kind of response it might elicit.  What makes the work aesthetically compelling is the change, even reversal, it effects in the way we regard its possessor. I will eschew the language of metamorphosis (spoiled for me forever by my university’s relentless investment in transformative learning) and simply relate the contrasts. Instead of a radical absence, we have a burgeoning presence.  Instead of a lack or loss or deprivation, there’s a profligate abundance.

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