This is not art. No.8…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Case of Identity:
Watson: At first it was but a lurid spark upon the stone pavement. Then it lengthened out until it became a yellow line, and then, without any warning or sound, a gash seemed to open and a hand appeared; a white, almost womanly hand, which felt about in the centre of the little area of light. For a minute or more the hand, with its writhing fingers, protruded out of the floor. Then it was withdrawn as suddenly as it appeared, and all was dark again save the single lurid spark which marked a chink between the stones…

dscn4638This is not art – but it is pretty good, isn’t it?
And, as I have often said before, I’ve seen a lot less interesting pieces on art gallery walls. Oh, the carefree, loose-handed application of the gloss white paint, the slight translucency of the colour, the drab featureless battleship grey substrate, the slight spattering where the brush has flicked tiny beads of stickiness as it moved, the confident and flamboyant flourish of the underline, and of course those marvellous angled dribbles, almost as if they were carried by a gust of wind as the artist worked in the open air.* Urban magnificence!

What can the story behind this piece of work be?
Well, I reckon that someone, some ne’er-do-well, living in the flats up the road from me had had his/her waste bin (in the UK a wheelie bin) stolen and had done the usual thing and stolen someone else’s to replace it. I think the purloined bin must have had the owner’s house/flat number painted on it, a sensible thing to do to deter bin thieves, so our cunning bin thief simply found an old tin of gloss and a bush and quickly obliterated any sign of the original number – and inadvertently produced a little abstract expressionist masterpiece for us all to enjoy.
I wonder if I should sneak out in the dead of night with a saw and cut it out, bring it home and hang it on my living room wall? Hm, best wait until a night when the bin will be empty though…

* An afterthought:
Those angled dribbles – I think what happened was that the bin might have been tilted and wheeled away whilst the paint was still runny, and of course it dribbled down during its journey creating those angled rivulets as the bin was moved.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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7 Responses to This is not art. No.8…

  1. annij67 says:

    It’s found art, like found poetry. It’s all game. LOL

  2. I think it says 112 under there. And that’s got to mean something…more than a house number? Oh, wait, you said it isn’t art, so – no analysis! Go trash can (as we say here in PA)!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Aha! Now then, Just after I’d uploaded that photo, I spotted the 112 too (one one two too?) and considered editing the post to mention it, but I didn’t.
      I reckon the 112 is the house number the bin was stolen from and all the drips and spatters go with that session of painting – the bin thief coincidentally having some white paint too, just blotted out the figures. You can tell by the two separate styles of brushwork…

  3. Shammy says:

    nice to know that thieves are ecologically responsible enough to use garbage cans.

  4. ktz2 says:

    I love that tiny gem from Doyle : ‘a lurid spark’

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