Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Cult of the Ugly

As profiled in the June 2 New York Times Style Magazine, fashion designer Miuccia Prada is an unrepentant communist who has created a business worth $5 billion. As she explains to her Times interviewer, "When I started fashion was the worst place to be if you were a leftist feminist. It was horrid.... I suppose I felt guilty not trying to be doing something more important, more political."

Asked about the power of ugly, she replies, "This is a question close to the meaning of my job. Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people.... By definition good taste is horrible taste. I do have a healthy disrespect for those values." 

I would say that with her spring and fall 2013 collections, she is a success in her own terms.

Speaking of her spring collection, Prada declaims: "Dream is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good. Everything we used to feel historically, now you can't enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream."

Revolutionary iconoclasm is big business, it seems.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fine Arts Friday: From The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

The first moment of any art is the impulse to produce something.

Berthe Morisot Painting by Paul Gobillard

 On the part of the consumer, the enjoyment of beauty is a kind of contemplation, but on the part of the producer, art is action.

Suzanne and Another by Carl Larsson
There is no opposition between beauty and usefulness, for beauty may serve useful purposes (in a sense it always does), yet beauty is not made for in view of its possible utility--it is desirable for its own sake.

Cactus by Carl Larsson

There is or should be art in every doing and making, and where there is art, there certainly is knowledge, intelligence, and even invention.

Lise Sewing by Auguste Renoir

Infinitely precious because of the spirituality it imposes on its matter, and a moving witness to the primary creative fecundity which is God's alone, art and the precarious beauties with which it adorns the world and life still remain more a grace than a necessity.

Mrs. N.C. Wyeth by N.C. Wyeth