3 Paintings That Are Beautiful Specifically Because They're Ugly

3 Paintings That Are Beautiful Specifically Because They're Ugly

Because who can decide what defines beauty anyway?

Art isn't just concerned with the traditionally "beautiful." That would be an old and outdated notion. In fact, it has been the subject of several artistic movements to capture the aesthetically ugly or abnormal. Such art focuses on the dark and the uncanny of nature and humanity; they challenge established notions that good art must abide by a predefined understanding of what is "perfect and beautiful."

But just because such art seeks inspiration from less favorable subject matter, doesn't mean it is any less valuable than traditional art. If art endeavors to explore the entirety of the human condition, then art that explores the yin should be just as important as art that explores the yang.

Here are three "ugly" paintings that are extraordinarily beautiful in their own right:

1. Saturn Devouring His Son - Francisco Goya

This early 19th-century painting was done by Francisco Goya. After a severe, but undiagnosed illness, Goya's pretty paintings made for the Spanish court slowly turned into a series of terrifying works known as "The Black Paintings." In this particular Black Painting, Goya depicts Kronos eating one of his sons.

It deviates from a norm of ennobling and glorifying stories from antiquity. Gone are the perfectly symmetrical white columns and handsome gods and demi-gods. Instead, Kronos is horrifically deformed. His hair is long and disheveled, and his eyes glare at you with a vibrantly mad expression. Meanwhile, he hunches over, savagely ripping apart a bloody corpse.

2. Shock Troops Advance Under Gas - Otto Dix

In this print, Otto Dix portrays the combat of WW1 as intensely barbaric. The gas masks dehumanize the soldiers to the point where they look like skulls. There is no tall and handsome general, confidently directing his troops into glory atop a white horse. At least not in this war.

I guess the sheer brutal reality and scale of combat during the First World War made it impossible to view conflict with anything other than horror. It is a colorless and raw portrait, entirely befitting of its setting.

3. Vertumnus - Giuseppe Arcimboldo

And here is a man made out of fruits and vegetables. Incredible. In fact, Arcimboldo made a bunch of paintings like these. He just really liked juxtaposing things together that didn't really belong together.

I don't know where his fascination stemmed from, but if I saw a man that looked like that in real life, I'd probably scream and try to kill it. But somehow, in this portrait, he's quite majestic.

Cover Image Credit: Anna Kolosyuk

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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