The Awesome

“Totally Awesome.”

That’s what the average guy says. He usually stares at something and goes: “Look at that. Will you look at that? That’s fucking awesome”. The jaw drops, and so does the hot dog he was chewing on.

The average guy always has a hot dog.

It can be anything, really. A new car, a cool sci-fi movie, a freshly baked Lasagna.

But what does the word actually mean?

It originally referred to something unique, something that provoked fear and wonder, or specifically awe. Today, it has become the most common and trivial of expressions.

The man or woman of your life, a newborn child, a volcano erupting or an eclipse.

Those were awesome sights.

They induced universal feelings that went beyond words, beyond and before intellect.

It all started with the sight.

Maybe John 1:1 was wrong.

The guy said in the old book: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

Before the beginning, older than language, there was the image. 

Our sight is today the most stimulated of the five senses.

We see, and yet we don’t contemplate, we don’t observe, most of the time we don’t feel anything.

Surrounded by screens we see through our phones and cameras. Waterfalls: click. Grand Canyon: click. Sistine Chapel: click, share, like.

Smiley face.

Our grandfathers would see the icon of a god and stand in the temple in awe.

The awesome and the awful became cheap, you can buy them online, subscribe to them, download them, refresh them.

We turn on the TV everyday and briefly look at fellow humans blowing up in a far country: no empathy.

Two or more people having sex: no excitement. Huge transformations, political revolutions, masses running for their lives. New discoveries, plane crashes, aliens, naked chicks, aliens with naked chicks: nothing.

Our friends and family try to reach us through a million different apps, showing us pictures of themselves in higher and higher definition: images that age instantly, and, before you know it, are forgotten.

Can an image still confound us, amaze us, leave us in awe?

The awesome is a collection of artworks. Each of our artists interpreted the theme in his own way: Behold, eyes wide open, and dive into these works of art.


Written by Dr Maurizio Buquicchio 


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