I’m working on opening up an instagram shop to sell my paintings. I’m submitting each piece, one by one. Each one gets passed through some filter to check for, I don’t really know, I guess nudity, something offensive, (whatever they deem that to be.) I never really even considered the criteria, because certainly I don’t create anything that I would imagine to be on some imaginary offensive fence. But one came back – denied. Denied? How could that even be possible. It was for the piece that I think may be one of my most joyful, “What was it all for, if we didn’t have a little fun.” This painting, as shown, is of people swimming. Not nude. Not really even interacting, just enjoying the elegant movement of water, of life. Instagram gives you an option of “taking another look” – so of course I requested it. Almost immediately it was accepted. I still can’t imagine what the first computer eyes thought they saw, but with a second look, that all changed.
It’s so easy to imagine we are so much better than artificial intelligence. But are we?
I’ve seen the combative posts on all of social media through the years. And worse, in real life. I’ve seen the leaps to judgement. The accusations. Wow. It’s really staggering. Maybe we, too, need the “second look” button. Taking a second look – nothing artificial about that – I’m not sure anything could be more human.
We see what’s inside of us. I can paint something, or write something, and through the years the meaning will change for me, and often for the viewers. It will touch the heart in a different way, in a way that is needed at the moment. And therein lies the beauty. We can see the beauty in not only what made us jump for joy, but what brought us to our knees. It is everywhere. The beauty. And it so deserves a second, even more than a third, look.
I wrote my first book, “I am amazed,” just after the tragedy of 9/11. It is just as relevant today, but for completely different reasons. Take a second look today at what the world presents to you. It might just be amazing.