Living in New York’s Capital Region, I’ve grown up subject to the ugliness that is the Empire State Plaza – Nelson D. Rockefeller’s brainchild, the construction of which called for razing old ethnic neighborhoods and laid waste to “residential” Albany as such. (Ann Althouse had a thread about this monstrosity from a few years back.)
Here are but a few examples of what New York’s state workers are visually and spatially bombarded by as they arrive at and leave their jobs — as if the jobs themselves were not sufficiently soul-crushing. (“Art” & architecture as oppressor: part of the plan?)
As an antidote and a call to better attention, I recommend Roger Scruton’s documentary on Youtube.
Thank you as always for your wonderful blog!
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No discussion on the cult of ugliness is complete without including the most recent statue of Pope John Paul II in Rome. Apparently the artist felt that hollowing out the form captured the Pope’s “welcoming nature”; others fear that the hollow will more likely collect discarded beer bottles and litter. This is just one more example of the indecipherable, self-indulgent and simply ugly symbolism of modern art and of the profoundly poor grasp the modern artist has of his function in culture. One can debate whether or not Pope John Paul should be canonized, but I don’t think anyone could argue that this contributes meaningfully to his memory.