Friday, August 24, 2007

a tip.

When it comes to rifling through an assortment of prints, paintings, sketches, pillows, rugs, anything (whether online, e.g., on ebay, or even in a shop), and you can't decide how to choose, try out my pet strategy:

... ignore your knee-jerk favorites. Blast past the "pretty," and take a closer look at the "ugly": and by "ugly" I mean the one piece that you would ordinarily dismiss straight away, the item that you unconsciously register as the least appealing of whatever group of images you're looking through. (eg, with botanicals, blast past the peaches & give the dingy print of the warty gourd a little love.)

Rationale: the "pretty" is probably just what you're used to. The "ugly" is unfamiliar. Often that first jolt of "Hell no" is actually a good way to discover something new.

"Jolie laide" fish prints from The Old Print Shop (online, or stop in if you live in the NY area; looks like a great shop. 150 Lexington Ave between 29 and 30th).

(ok, now that you've heard me out, tell me I'm wrong. I can take it.)

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Anonymous gigi said...

this is an intriguing idea, i suppose the trick to it is actually ponying up the money to pay for something you aren't that wild about?

9:31 AM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

hi gigi-- I guess I meant that what you like ends up changing in that 2nd look; so definitely I wouldn't advocate buying something you don't like! But many times what happens is I realize the piece is the most off-beat, interesting one, and I end up falling madly in love with it. (eg, these fish prints-- I love them madly, even though at first I thought they were creepy looking!

2:19 PM  
Anonymous gigi said...

hi phoebe!

i agree with you, viewing and purchasing art pieces should be an open, expanding experience, e.g. those fishies!

you have a great eye and blog. thanks for the clarification! :)

3:34 PM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

any time! :)

3:48 PM  
Anonymous oki said...

right on. this has been my aesthetic philosophy for a while

but theres a difference between the jolie laide and the truly ugly, items that have their own sort of odd beauty about them are worth looking more closely at. its like people who dont have an obvious beauty but have their own magnetic quality.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Pheobe! I like this post. You are a true visionary I've always thought ...and this is a true blue idea. I will implement it as a I thrift around this hoilday week-end. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.
Peace and love
Allison R and Old Owen Meany.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Blandings said...

love it! We gave a friend a vintage eel print for his New England beach house. Ugly chic.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

oki, exactly.

and allison, yay for owen meany! :)

mrs. blandings, i'm so glad you agree...

11:00 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

we saw that crazy sunfish on a whale watch this summer! they just float on the top on their side like that. weird-o. great prints, the colors are fab.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Chimp said...

In theory, I agree whole-heartedly. But, sadly, I don't trust my taste enough for this. The few times I tried this, I got the items home only to realise, a few weeks later, that they were simply ugly: no more.

5:55 PM  

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