Everyone thinks they have it. Most do not.
As an artist I try to be opened minded about the aesthetics of other people. I try to understand the look they are going for when someone paints their front door metallic gold, has a round bed, or places a life size reproduction of the Venus de Milo next to the BBQ grill in their backyard. Unfortunately, having an open mind can only go so far.
Yes, bad taste is out there in full force. In fact we are almost constantly being assaulted with it. We have an all-you-can-eat, gold lame, fake boob, strip mall, cubic zirconia, acid-washed kinda world pushed in our face most of the time.
However, to me, the only thing worse than bad taste is actually good taste – just in the wrong hands. It’s wonderful when someone can recognize the beauty of an eighteenth century French chateau. But trying to make your brand new house look exactly like one is just wrong. Isn’t there something slightly ridiculous about having a monogram on your rubber boots? Do antique Italian olive jars (no matter how beautiful they are) really belong on the porch of your Arts and Crafts style bungalow?
I find that often people who have no taste use the elements of what is accepted as “good taste” as a sort of mask to hide behind. Their outfits and homes always perfectly put together in the most utterly conventional way because they have no style of their own. To me this is the ultimate in boring. Am I the only one who thinks that a home that is merely pretty is almost ugly? Having a pretty home is easy. Buying a pretty dress is no problem. Finding a haircut that suits you and sticking with it for 5 or 10 years is not all that complicated. But I salute those folks who take chances and paint rooms the wrong color. The ladies and gentlemen who are not afraid to make a mistake with their wardrobe make me smile. And Bravo to you if every once in awhile your friends have to ask you “What in the hell did you do to your hair?”
For me a little bit of good taste goes a long way. Overdo it and you risk banality.