Posted by Paul Malo on October 02, 2002 at 06:29:12:
In Reply to: Re: Ugliest Building in New York?-Las Vegas posted by JWmHarmon on October 01, 2002 at 20:42:03:
Yes, I suppose the word came into this use about 1960s. I think it came from the gay lexicon, referring, for instance, to the style of drag queens who affected the tacky as a chic pose. The attitude was institutionalized by Wharol with his Campbell's soup can--and of course, in architecture, by Venturi's homage to Las Vegas (as you point out). It was part of the Counter Culture, of course--supposed to be populist and anti-elitist. But, in truth, it was 'anti-sno' snobbery,' because by likeing what most people thought ugly, the cognoscenti identified themselves as an elite clique. What they were 'anti' was not snobbery at all, but (paradoxically) popular taste.
I see the "Ugliest" building as representing that phenomenon.
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