“Ugly” and “Strange” in art and design


There is no positive without the negative. There would be no beauty without ugliness. The definition of ugly to me lays on the assumptions of ugliness. For example portraits that are showing who they really are instead of what they look like (realistic face).
In Quentin Massys’ The Ugly Duchess he painted a satire of an old woman (in around 1513) who try to recreate her youth. She is wearing a beautiful old fashion dress and headdress. Her face is ‘unnatural’ shape. The wrinkle on her skin tells how old she is, which most probably more than a hundred years old. She is holding a red flower which indicates that she is looking for companion.
In this painting, Massys is depicting an woman who suffered from a malfunction of bone disease (Paget’s disease).
Therefore, I think he is showing us to look beyond the portrait.


The Ugly Duchess – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ugly_Duchess#/image/File:Quentin_Matsys_-_A_Grotesque_old_woman.jpg date: 13/11/2014


Strangeness is presenting subject matter through different points of view so that the viewers would see the world in a different way or strange and unfamiliar way in order to extend its perceptions.

In my illustration, these technique could help me express the unseen within the narrative, the invisible to our eye without being literal which therefore could give more understanding and have more meaning.


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