Friday, March 31, 2006

The Unbearable Beauty of Ugliness

More from James -- and boy does this sound familiar, boy does this sum up every artist you hate or love; more hate than love, I suspect, but there are things here that are true for more than just the Jean-Michel Basquiats and Jeff Koons of the world:

"It was the artist's opinion that there is no essential difference between beauty and ugliness; that they overlap and intermingle in a quite inextricable manner; that there is no saying where one begins and the other ends; that hideousness grimaces at you suddenly from out of the very bosom of loveliness, and beauty blooms before your eyes in the lap of vileness; that it is a waste of wit to nurse metaphysical distinctions, and a sadly meagre entertainment to caress imaginary lines; that the thing to aim at is the expressive, and the way to reach it is by ingenuity; that for this purpose everything may serve, and that a consummate work is a sort of hotch-potch of the pure and the impure, the graceful and the grotesque."

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