Jim Neidhardt and Kerry Davis did their best to convince me that their show at 12 x 16, Pretty Ugly, is about aesthetics in popular culture. What objects are pretty and what are ugly and how do we react to them? They divided color palettes and rooms into ugly and pretty as a point of departure.
Something they observed in this video was how we often find “ugly” more interesting, deeper, more provocative intellectually. The artists observed how people want to go deeper with ugly – whereas “pretty” was often trivialized, written off as thin and one dimensional. If something is pretty, no big deal.
And guess which gender is attached to which? Much of the show was amusing, but the observation in this video that “If you pit Pretty against Ugly, Ugly always wins,” gave me pause for thought. I know some pretty women making pretty art. It can make for a double dip of doubt.