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UGLY is a series of sculptural objects that faces the savage social hierarchy of beauty through one of the oldest subjects in art history: the still life of fruit. By creating fruit hybrids with obvious, laboured hand stitches, the unnatural is made painfully visible—these are fruits that speak of our times, forced rather than effortless, manufactured and manmade. Suppliers choose their fruit the same way we decide how to dress; we are all conditioned by a system of slick marketing to be seduced by a certain look; the malformed and wonky-shaped are discarded and thrown out. This culture of lookism affects every apparently ‘free’ decision we make—and even though we’re aware of it, it still persists and engulfs us. UGLY confronts our ideas and ideals about beauty, advertising, nature and the collision of the fake and the fictional with the truth.
Photographed by Giorgos Vitsaropoulos
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