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Ugly

Stephen Bayley

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-0716-0
Trim Size: 7 x 9 1/2
hardcover
Overlook
10/03/2013

Product Description

What is "ugly"? Sourcing centuries of art, design, and cultural history, and citing examples as wide-ranging as Soviet-era architecture and Frankenstein's monster to the World's Ugliest Dog and the so-called jolie-laide of the human species, Stephen Bayley, one of the world's leading commentators on design and popular culture, probes the fascinating and timeless question: Is there such a thing as ugliness . . . or are aesthetic judgments purely a matter of taste?

Is ugliness only skin-deep, or can something that is beautifully engineered--a B52 bomber or a Colt .45--also be ugly, if its function is to kill or to maim? What was "Degenerate Art" and why was it deemed such? Why are mountains seen as sublime expression of nature, when only two hundred years ago they were regarded as loathsome things to be avoided at all costs? Just what is the relation, if any, between tattoos and crime? And lastly, if there were no ugliness in the world, would there be any beauty? Stephen Bayley, in his singular and at times tongue-in-cheek style, questions and explains the aesthetics of everything.

Praise for Stephen Bayley:

"I don't know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste, and contemporary design." —Tom Wolfe

"He has the knack of getting ahead of everybody with values that turn out to be permanent." —Clive James

"[John Ruskin was] the 19th century Stephen Bayley." —Nick Foulkes


Stephen Bayley is one of the world's best-known commentators on design and popular culture, a bestselling author, and a columnist, broadcaster, and curator. He has served as Chief Executive of the Design Museum in London and also worked as a consultant for various brands including Ford, Absolut Vodka, The Coca-Cola Company, Volkswagen, BMW, and Harvey Nichols. He is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an Honorary Fellow of RIBA, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, and a Fellow of Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.

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