Patina is a thin layer that forms on the surface of stone, copper, bronze and similar metals (tarnish produced by oxidation or other chemical processes); a sheen on wooden furniture produced by age, wear, and polishing; or any such acquired change of a surface through age and exposure. Patinas can provide a protective covering to materials that would otherwise be damaged by corrosion or weathering. They may also be aesthetically appealing.
This month’s Blog Carnival topic is “patinas”. While the original intent of the assignment was no doubt the common practice of applying patinas to metal, patination also refers to the accumulated changes in surface texture and colour that result from normal use of an object such as a coin over time.
Of course all of this can be said of people too. That part about “may also be aesthetically appealing”, is where things get really interesting where people are concerned.
For instance, Billy Gibby here, who tattooed the web address of several porn sites on his face as part of a breakthrough idea to become a human billboard. Don’t get us wrong, we love the art of tatau, particularly as practiced by indigenous cultures the world over. And far be for us to dredge up that old saw “but what will it look like when you get old?!!” 50 years from now we’re all going to look like shit and people will still be watching porn.
The patina people exhibit over the years often goes far below the surface, and the accumulated age, wear, texture and polishing exhibits itself in so many strange and beautiful ways – or not. In the worst cases, we just end up scared and damaged from years of abuse, frequently self-inflicted. In the best of cases we acquire a glowing inner light and perspective enhanced by accumulated experience and knowledge.
And then there’s Charlie Manson who, in a supreme twist of irony, looks like someone’s grandpa, except …what’s that on your grandpa’s forehead!?