Subjects — U
It’s nothing to be born ugly. Sensibly, the ugly woman comes to terms with her ugliness and exploits it as a grace of nature. To become ugly means the beginning of a calamity, self-willed most of the time.
I seated ugliness on my knee, and almost immediately grew tired of it.
The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.
Ugliness is in a way superior to beauty because it lasts.
Against the beautiful and the clever and the successful, one can wage a pitiless war, but not against the unattractive: then the millstone weighs on the breast.
Reckoned physiologically, everything ugly weakens and afflicts man. It recalls decay, danger, impotence; he actually suffers a loss of energy in its presence. The effect of the ugly can be measured with a dynamometer. Whenever man feels in any way depressed, he senses the proximity of something “ugly.” His feeling of power, his will to power, his courage, his pride — they decline with the ugly, they increase with the beautiful.
There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.
The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat.
God! Is there anything uglier than a frightened man!
To tell you the truth, I am rather perplexed about the concept of “art”. What one person considers to be “art” is often not “art” to another. “Beautiful” and “ugly” are old-fashioned concepts that are seldom applied these days; perhaps justifiably, who knows? Something repulsive, which gives you a moral hangover, and hurts your ears or eyes, may well be art. Only “kitsch” is not art — we’re all agreed about that. Indeed, but what is “kitsch”? If only I knew!
— On Being a Graphic Artist