"Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised." —Marcus Aurelius
Beauty, in the most sublime sense, is an inherent good. When I encounter it, I am reminded how little it matters what I, or anyone else, think about it. Writing over 1,800 years ago, Marcus Aurelius, as many others before him, understood it too.
I recently came across the Pakistani-born, Tokyo-based photographer Arif Iqball's work via David Alan Harvey’s excellent online magazine burn. These pictures of Geiko and their apprentice Maiko are simple, elegant, contemplative, and sumptuous with color. It is the respect and love from the photographer that infuses them with their sensitivity. His admiration for Japanese culture and tradition is evident. Mr. Iqball is still developing as a photographer, but this delightful series (including the B&W version on his website) shows promise. —Lane Nevares