Tuesday, September 29, 2009

on ugliness


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.


Leila Marvel said...

These are so intriguing, I find that the ugly and dark are often times more beautiful to me.

Anonymous said...

Now you wrote an issue I have contemplated on writing: how to use words which sound singing but mean ugly things in harmonious context without intimidating the reader?

ArtAfterDark said...

Ugly and evil have always been so much more interesting than good and pretty. Ugliness and evil are not boring...they hold your attention by either repulsion or fascination. I'm a big fan of both!

Zev said...

Wow, you're right. We ARE aesthetic twins. (I've coveted that book for so long.)

Ethanoh said...

wow i'm an illustrator too and i always had the same dilemma and i bought that book too!!!!
if you have time please visit my website: www.alexoh.co.nz