To me, anything mysterious and unknown can sometimes be much more intriguing and interesting than that of populous knowledge. I'm a firm believer that the popularity of something doesn't equal success, and that sometimes over-sharing on social media isn't exactly the best option. Kate Moss was very clever indeed for following her personal mantra of 'never explain, never complain'.
In this issue's Russh Magazine, editor Jess Blanch's letter particularly grabbed my attention, and got me thinking about why a degree of mystery is so important.
Take a read:
“Miss, you have an interesting face. I would like to do your portrait. I have a feeling we will do great things together. I am Picasso.”
It’s got to be the greatest come-on of all time. The artist spoke these words in Paris in the 1920s as he stumbled across a 17-year-old blonde while she was shopping. It wasn’t just the start of a romance, she would become his model and muse over a lifetime and a painting from their 1932 series – one of his most valuable ever. Widely around the world, though, this voluptuous woman has only ever been known as Picasso’s ‘Nude’.
The appeal of the undefined is something of great intrigue at this moment, as we live in hyper-communicative times so preoccupied with sharing and where labels and hashtags have become all-important to our sense of belonging and feeling of relevance.
Beneath this constant exposure a debate is gaining momentum about living in the public versus our right to, and need for, privacy. As we look through Instagrams of girls in tight jeans pulling peace signs, we can’t help but wonder if we’re a generation empty and lacking imagination. Amid saturation of social stalking and internet voyeurism, we question if this full disclosure is indeed propelling our loss of power. Couldn’t anonymity actually be willfully provocative if we let it? And shouldn’t we be thinking more about what to conceal than reveal?
For this – our Untitled issue – the word of the day was mystery. We were inspired by the unnamed and unexplained; that which empowers our imagination and forces us to find our own stories and intention. True mystery of course, is not about hiding away entirely. It’s about knowing what to keep hidden, and what to share. The master of shadow play, artist Bill Henson – as you will see in these pages – knows this. “You need a certain amount of stillness and silence for contemplation, for a gentler and deeper kind of thinking about things,” he told us. “That’s not a loss of strength but a deeper sense of being in the world.”
There is still nothing more eternally elusive than one person’s curiosity for another and yet so often the more we’re told, the less we seem to know.
The best secret of all is when all we know of someone is that their soul is alive and we are drawn to them. This is the kind of mystery we should embrace. Or as Picasso would have done in his day, wander over and say, “So, come here do often you?”