Beauty in art is in the eye of the beholder and today the beholder loves ugly. I have spent a life of loving art and am sad to comment that today contemporary art (more than any other period of human time) loves ugly.
Van Gogh and Rembrandt had very sad lives yet always painted beauty, beautiful even sadly beautiful paintings but they never painted ugly. Mark Rothko, my favorite non-realistic artist's work is sad (he killed himself) but a Rothko is never ugly. The colors, shapes are regal and magnificent.
Picasso said, "People buy my art to hide their nakedness and then they realize it doesn't do that." I could add, artists today don't love themselves or the world they live in so ugly is their own reflection.
Ugly art began in the sixties when Modern Art was over, and new 70's art was called Contemporary Art, and that meant "art of our times" -- but these times have lasted for over 70 years. Has the human as an artist given up on being happy with the world?
Some Ugly Art forerunners include Francis Bacon and Williem de Kooning and today the new leader must be Damien Hirst. I remember living in London in the late sixties when I first saw Francis Bacon in Knightsbridge and then in Paris on the Rue de Seine. Today Bacon's triptych went for 142.4 million, a lot of sadness, three Bacon's for one home.
Among today's artists happily there are a few exceptions. There are some lovers of beauty left but not many whose work is acclaimed. Does beauty in art today mean that lovely art is meaningless?
Peter Doig is one painter today whose work today is breathtakingly beautiful. He hides from society. Murakami has beautiful colors but has scary themes. I would not want my baby grandchildren to see it yet! David Hockney alone designs flowers, pools, and creates a beautiful world. He is not alone.
I am happy to have known all my life, contemporary painter Ed Baynard a master of beauty and another painter besides Hockney of beautiful flowers and a beautiful world. I was thrilled to read Ed is showing his latest work at the NY Dillon Gallery show in ART MIAMI December 3rd in Miami Beach.
I met Ed Baynard (also from Washington D.C.) in Paris in the mid sixties when he designed the art work and posters for my dress shop called Mia -- Vicky at 21 Rue Bonaparte with my partners Mia Fonssagrives and Elizabeth Taylor.
Ed was part of the young hip crowd that floated in Fashion between London, Paris and the Mediterranean.
He went on to become famous in New York for his still life paintings that include flowers that speak. MoMA, the Met, the Whitney, the Tate, the V and A all have his work. At Sloan-Kettering Clinic in New York, there are eight prints lining one wall, and it makes the patients so happy.
I have hope Ed inspires the next generation of Contemporary art to be happy with the world and paint beauty again.
Ed Baynard show -- Dillon Gallery at Art miami -- 555 W 25th st NY -- From December 3 to December 8.
Vicky Tiel began designing clothes 40 years ago in Paris and still owns a boutique there. See Vicky and her new collection on HSN and online. Her couture is available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and her perfumes are carried in Perfumania. Her memoir, It's All About the Dress: What I Learned in 40 Years About Men, Women, Sex and Fashion was published by St. Martin's Press in August 2011.