COMPOSITION: GOLDEN RATIO (Part 7)
While the application of balance and (a)symmetry is central to art, we can observe an interesting phenomenon, which may in fact transcend expressiveness per se and move from the “mere” artistic paradigm towards a universal property. I’m referring to the golden ratio or the so called divine proportion, mathematically (visually rather fittingly) represented as phi or φ. The golden ratio reflects how the whole is compared to a larger part exactly as the larger part is compared to the smaller one.
Essentially, this principle extends beyond the lineal presentation, so we can distinguish everything from the so called golden triangles, rectangles, to spirals, the Fibonacci sequence and more.
Bearing strong connection to ancient philosophies and religions, such as the Hindu tradition, the symbol of the golden spiral seems to extend beyond eternity, celestial power or even bodily energy, if some accounts about this philosophical and ethereal concept are right. Consequently, this principle becomes universal, as it is viewed not merely as an equation, a graph or a feature of design, but can be observed in nature itself; from snowflakes, shells, the pyramids to the great spirals galaxies.
Also, bear in mind the divine presidency!
Unity and the dynamic variety of the golden section reflect its use (or rather appeal) in art, while socio-political readings, also through Aristotle’s golden mean (aka the middle way), offer connections to the interplay of the individual (personal) parts to the larger (social) whole. While this cosmic design may be so pervasive that we have paradoxically internalized it to such a degree that we are essentially blind to it, it's stressed here as a kind of universal archetype, the balancing act between the relationship of the whole and its respective parts.
I if try to conclude this seven-part run on composition, I was brainstorming some principles that I’ve come across though various means, either directly in comics or merely theoretically. I’m sure I left some out, while there are more to be discovered or maybe I’ve given too much emphasis on the one’s I’ve written about … but they nevertheless feel interesting, consistent and impactful enough to merit at least a mention. And the word feel may capture the appropriate expression for all of it; namely, the underlying principle of emotion and the personal touch in any art you either devote your life’s pursuit as an artist or appreciate and cherish with your eyes and soul of a spectator.
Essentially, we’ve seen that there are different types or aspects in a given compositional feature, so understanding specific parts of visual compositions, artistic intentions and the holy context is vital, if you want to know more about artistry in general. But the beauty of all of it is that you can appreciate any given piece of art without knowing anything about the subject matter or the artist, if said piece simply touches your emotions and imagination.
However, if that happens, more often than not you will take the time and effort to learn more about it. A beautifully vicious cycle!
And all in all, that’s the true beauty of art!
For reasons of extreme prejudice, the author of this blog wishes to remain anonymous …