‘The Reappearance of the Rose’: Instagram and The Aesthetic of Jean Cocteau

When Pierre Chanel wrote in Jean Cocteau and the French Scene that Cocteau’s style, with its ‘deceptive, free, quick, airy grace… [was] so inimitable that he has had no followers’[1], he unwittingly proves the outmodedness of the book to a contemporary reader. For now more than ever, perhaps, one is likely to encounter glimpses of this quick, airy grace, and far more likely to do so while scrolling through Instagram than strolling through a gallery. SAM LOVE looks at the instagram legacy of Jean Cocteau for TAH VOL.1

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Boybands and Ephebe

Depictions of the ephebe, a youth caught in the transition from puberty to Greek civic manhood, dominated images of Greek culture and desire throughout the periods now known as the Archaic and Classical and remain the defining images of Greek art in Western understanding. In Ancient Greece, youth and beauty were key elements in the value of kalokagathia – that to look good was literally to be good. Obvious parallels to this can be found in contemporary celebrity culture – the worshiping of figures based on a cultivated outward image of wholesomeness and beauty. This dynamic is crystallised in those most modern ephebes; boybands. CLAIRE HESELTINE for TAH VOL.1

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