Friday, August 7, 2009

Ugly is beautiful.....

A bucket's filthy interior

No one can truly understand how a visual artist sees something except another visual artist. We catch things most will miss. Spot special details when other people think there aren't any. An artist can find even the most mundane object to be visually interesting.

A dead wasp

When the days of depression and despondency and apathy hit me, I realize I tend to notice all of the ugly things around me. And yet, even ugliness can be unique....which makes it beautiful.

Water-damaged paper covering a window

In the graphic novel, The Plain Janes, the main character (Jane) mentions that she tries to see the beauty in everything but struggles when everything around her at the moment looks so ugly.

Crumbling indoor wall

Can you find the loveliest parts in something grotesque? Do you see how pretty the disgusting can really be? Is there something charming about the sadness?

Badly stained enamel bathtub

Just wanted to share some random images that I see on a daily basis. To see if you can find the beauty in them like I have.

Or is it just ugly to you?


Pilgrim said...

I´d say, it´s all in the eye of the individual viewer, so no comment, I´m neutral to thiese. Propz Pilgrim

MartininBroda said...

Maybe sometimes it’s another frame that makes us see the beauty in ugly things. There is this parable from Nizami (died 1180), a Persian poet, of a dead, decaying dog, where all pass with disgust. Only Jesus stops and shows his delight over the unspoiled beauty of his pearly white teeth; perhaps you know it already. The last picture was indeed beautiful in my opinion. You are really looking venturous and “merciless” watching in the new profile picture, great.

Dolores said...

I love texture and I hope you take more photos of things around you. It's true, you do have to stop and see, not just look.

Kathleen Coy said...

Everything is a matter of perception. I love your images Dean, they are beautiful. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

Dean Grey said...


No problem being neutral. I appreciate you taking the time to look!



No, I never heard of that parable before but it sure ties in nicely with the theme of this particular post.

Thanks for including it!



Will do!



You're quite welcome!


Thanks to the four of you for your comments!


Mona Diane Conner said...

Very interesting Dean. Great observations.

naturgesetz said...

There is a beauty akin to abstract art in some of these. I especially like the random pattern of the stains on the paper, and the bucket is interesting, too. Is the last photo, the stained enamel, a detail of the bucket?

Candace Maria said...

I have really learned to appreciate the beauty in everything I see, and I have been trying to eliminate the word ugly from my dictionary. I went so long seeing everything in life as ugly and despondent, and now I am trying to see the vivid life around me. Especially to see the beauty in myself. I went too long only seeing ugly. Now, I want to see the beauty in myself and the world. [:

This was a great post. Thanks so much for it.

Dean Grey said...





The last picture is a close-up of an old bathtub. The enamel finish is extremely stained.


Candace Maria!

Thanks for stopping by!

Can one truly eliminate "ugliness" from their life though? I highly recommend you read the graphic novel I mentioned, "The Plain Janes".

You sound a lot like the lead character!


I appreciate you three chiming in!


Tracey Clarke said...

You ARE an artist. No doubt.
I don't see any ugliness in any of these.....these also capture a sense of time passing, of history, of reaity. Love them.

Dean Grey said...

Thank you, Tracey!!


Carolina said...

Hi Dean!
I love this exercise you're presenting... I have a feeling that you're implying something else, but I'll stick to what's obvious:
I think the wasp photo would do a great painting as is, and the bathtub is already an interesting abstract. The dammaged wall is almost exactly to the kind of paintings a Brazilian artist does (I'm so frustrated I'm not able to find the link to her web page now! She also does tiles and other stuff, very similar to what you're showing here. And I'm guessing you would find her injured-wall paintings interesting).
The dammaged paper says nothing to me, and I hate the bucket.
Besides, I think all of these photos are very well taken.
And last but not least, nice profile photo, it's my favorite one so far!
Best regards,

Dean Grey said...


I'm most definitely implying something else, not just the pictures at face value.

I love that so many of you see the dirt and stains as abstract. That's what came to mind for me too.

Glad you like the photos!


Restless Mind said...

I'm one to see the negative more than than positive and I'm really working hard on reversing that.

As far as your pictures on this post, I can see beauty in all of them. Even the ugliest thing has something good to offer. Just like people, no matter how bad they may seem, there's always a tiny bit of goodness in them. Or so I'd like to believe.

Dean Grey said...

Restless Mind!

I tend to see the negative more than the positive too.

And I agree, no matter how terrible or bad someone/something may be, I do think there is something good deep down.

I appreciate your input!