Friday, May 9, 2014

The Beautiful Ugly

I LOVE the look of peeling paint and worn out objects. One of my artistic objectives is to find the beauty amid the ugly.   Real life is not airbrushed models and perfectly photographed art studios with styled “chaos”.  Life is zits on your 40 something face and liquid nails oozing all over your filthy work table.

But if I take the time to look again, I can see the joy in my eyes and character created by those lines around my eyes telling a story of a life of laughter and joy. 

Amid the liquid nails, scraps of paper, and yesterday’s tea cup there is the beginnings of a meaningful assemblage, the perfect hat for my next art doll, and the chaotic soul of making a living as an artist.


Tulip petals fallen in the mud. Skagit Valley WA


I started trying to capture this concept through photography while travelling in India recently. ( lots more pictures to come)

India is the land of BEAUTIFUL UGLY. I loved it! Of course “ugly” and “beautiful” are incredibly subjective words that are greatly influenced by our cultural  norms and personal prejudices and  they do not leave room for the eye to truly see the subtle complexity of life.


The Ganges is so loved and worshiped you can’t help but feel the sacredness of it waters, but in it’s waters float the flower remnants of important rituals right next to the garbage of everyday life.



Do you still see the beauty of the tulip petal when it’s fallen into the mud?

Do you feel the magic of a sacred ceremony even when its remnants lie next to someone’s lunch bag?




Linda Sue said...

This is such a great post! YES!!! Having grown up where "beauty" was not well defined,nebulous at best- had to reconstruct what was seen into something worthy. Great for creativity and imagination that which you have in spades! Love how you see the world, the decorated mud...a scruffy ,maimed , angelic doll becomes art. You have the super power of vision that is fo sho! LOVE your work, Love you!

kim mitchell said...

Love it - the color especially against the mud . The good and the bad the beautiful and the ugly - the yin and the yang to complement each other. Without that mud the petal wouldn't be so striking. I'd love to see India - I'm very drawn to it - curious about the people and culture. Already love the food!

An Li Na said...

Wow, Clarissa - very powerful. words to attempt to live up to! I so can't wait to meet you this summer at ADAA!


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