lately, as i've been sketching for my upcoming show, i've been thinking about changing my style of painting. i find myself drawn to objects & figures that are inherently ugly, disfigured or odd. in general, i find that my current painting style leans more towards being "pretty" although they are usually all metaphors for ugly/dark emotions or past tumultuous occurrences. as someone who is slightly, secretly disfigured i'm often drawn to things & people that are considered "ugly" because i find the convulsive beauty in them.
which brings me to a book i've been eyeing, 'on ugliness' which is a collection of artwork edited by critic umberto eco. i had a chance to peek at this in person on a trip my love & i took to the massive penn bookstore last week. inside it i came across the painting pictured below, which has haunted me ever since. i think if i had the magic ability to paint however i choose, it would be exactly like this:
portrait of antonietta gonzales by lavinia fontana.
besides having the name of my most favorite character by shakespeare, she painted more than any other female artist of the 1700's.