Beauty, my fatal obsession?

BEAUTY – MY FATAL OBSESSION?

Obsession:  Preoccupy or fill the mind of someone, continually and to a troubling extent.

Model Catherine Gannon, photographed during my workshop in Ireland.

Model Catherine Gannon, photographed during my workshop in Ireland.

I have always been attracted to female beauty and particularly, perfection. It has been a constant search that is, at times, very frustrating due to its elusiveness.

When I look at the definition of Perfect and Perfection, I meet with statements like:

’The state and quality of being perfect’ and ‘free from any flaw or defect’.

Model: Lara Cassar Delia

Model: Lara Cassar Delia

In fact, I feel that all my personal work and attempts at art, both in my early painting days and, in a much more obvious way, in my photography, I eternally attempt to search and surround myself with beauty and perfection. Through my lens and my camera, I am always on the hunt to capture that elusive instant.

On the other hand, an internal conflict exists inside me and insists that Perfection does not actually exist and that no material or spiritual state can attain perfection.

So why strain to attain the unattainable? A further contradiction and curious fact is that, at the same time, I am very practical and flexible in my everyday life. Still, in whatever I do, I try to go to lengths to do everything in the best and most ‘perfect’ manner possible.

Model: Alisa

Model: Alisa

My main work in photography, and perhaps my forte, has been photographing people, particularly women. My style has been always bordering on the classical, putting women on an imaginary, but ever present, pedestal.

I attempt to glorify the female form, characteristics and features. I am forever drawn to this. Trying to go close, perhaps, to the classical sculptures of Greece? The Venus of Botticelli?  The models of Richard Avedon? The shady, edgy borderline so ably manipulated by Helmut Newton?

I believe this feeling is also very sensual and sexual as I am really not at ease when photographing the male form. Here my inspiration usually deserts me. I definitely do not feel as attracted to the male form as I am to the mystery, beauty or the aura that female mystery kindles in me.

 I feel that my initial and recurring trigger or spark, both in my art as well as in my everyday life, is this fatal physical and aesthetic attraction to beauty. I am also intrigued by the female mind which fascinates, (and often exasperates), me with its at times illogical, naive and, at the same time, intelligent way of functioning. In short I am also attracted to the female mind’s contradictory traits.
To me, women are beautiful in their incomprehension. I never feel that I really know a woman so I am always on the interminable road of discovery, on the road to reflection, on the road to comprehension.

It is a constant, but almost exquisite pain that I have learnt to live and thrive with. I sometimes reason that I could obtain satisfaction and happiness more easily if I did not have this obsession. Yet I cannot remotely imagine my life without the drive this search kindles in me.

 I cannot imagine living without women – it would be unbearably boring.

Kevin Casha – October 2012

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