Gina Buffone works in the sustainable building field. She is Director of New Construction for a non-profit consulting company that focuses on affordable housing. She writes:
What makes a rose beautiful? Why has the Acropolis continued to move people over the centuries? Why is the Mona Lisa considered one of the greatest works of art in history? In this revolutionary principle, Eli Siegel has given the criterion for beauty of any place, any time: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” In his historic broadside “Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?” Mr. Siegel asks fifteen defining questions about the opposites in beauty. Here are the first three:
1. FREEDOM AND ORDER: Does every instance of beauty in nature and beauty as the artist presents it have something unrestricted, unexpected, uncontrolled?—and does this beautiful thing in nature or beautiful thing coming from the artist’s mind have, too, something accurate, sensible, logically justifiable, which can be called order?
2. SAMENESS AND DIFFERENCE: Does every work of art show the kinship to be found in objects and all realities?—and at the same time the subtle and tremendous difference, the drama of otherness, that one can find among the things of the world?
3. ONENESS AND MANYNESS: Is there in every work of art something which shows reality as one and also something which shows reality as many and diverse?—must every work of art have a simultaneous presence of oneness and manyness, unity and variety?