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What is ugly? One of the leading cultural commentators of our time, Stephen Bayley, takes us on a journey of discovery by skilfully weaving centuries of art and design history into a discourse on the nature of beauty and its polar opposite, ugly. Is ugliness only skin-deep, or can something that is beautifully engineered - a B-52 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 expressions 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 between tattoos and crime, and why on earth is there a contest for "The Ugliest Dog in the World"? And lastly, if there was no ugly in the world, would there be any beauty?
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Table of Contents

Perfection, or No Dirt and Mess in Heaven; Ugly Science, or Good Maths, Bad Results; Manners, or the Ugly Customer; Heaven and Hell; or Cleanliness, Godliness and their Opposites; When Nature is Ugly, or Monument Valley and I-35; Kitsch, or the Intoxication of Bad Taste; Rubbish, or the Zen of Crap; What's Wrong with Beauty, or Unnatural Selection; Form Follows Feeling, or the Tropes Don't Work; Advertising, or Ugliness Sells Badly.

About the Author

Stephen Bayley is one of the world's best-known commentators on design and popular culture, and is also a bestselling author. In the early 1980s he headed up the Boilerhouse Project at the Victoria and Albert Museum - Britain's first permanent exhibition of design - and later became Chief Executive of the Design Museum in London. He has also worked as a design consultant for among others; Ford, Absolut Vodka, The Coca-Cola Company, Volkswagen, BMW and Harvey Nichols. As an out-spoken authority on art and design he frequently appears on television and regularly contributes to numerous newspapers and magazines.

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