Chair and Razor Barb…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the sound of Vladimir Putin’s voice when he has a cold.

‘Are you deliberately showing us the most boring picture in your collection?’
‘Well, that’s a little bit harsh, don’t you think?’
‘No, it isn’t! Just look at it! It’s dreary, dull and… and…’

This photograph is from of my days of old-style, black and white, 35mm film and darkroom photography – it’s was probably taken in the 1990s.
Not much going on in it is there? But nevertheless, I do quite like it; I think it has a nice sense of brooding melancholy.
‘”Brooding melancholy”? Oh, shut up! What utter twaddle!’
Don’t you think there is a kind of compositional and textural tension pervading the scene? This is stark punchy monochrome surrealism right here in Dulltown!
To the left the ‘easy chair’ made ‘difficult chair’ by its position hard up against the fence – you want to go and sit in it, relax, and nod off, but you can’t – no room for your knees and legs I’m afraid… It also looks like it’s exploding…’
‘No Dave, it doesn’t!…’
Yes it does, see the creeping climbing plant, its leaves are the bang, the detonation, the concussion, the con-cushion, frozen in time… Now look up! What do you think those nasty coils of barbed wire are saying?
‘They are not saying anything.’
…and on the right there, the rectangular sign, it says – ‘Razor Barb Danger!’ ‘Razor Barb Danger!’…
‘No, it doesn’t – you are making something out of nothing…’
But that’s exactly what art is!… What about anthropomorphism?… Don’t you think our chair looks like it’s sulking, and it has shuffled off into a corner to turn its back on the world? That’s how I feel sometimes…
‘I’ll bet you do Dave… But it’s no good trying to engender our sympathy, it’s still a boring photo…’

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 Chair and Razor Barb…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Well I like it a lot. Is the chair inside or outside a garden? Had somebody been trying to use it to scale the barb? How did it get there anyway?
    I shall call this piece “Barby Chair Enigma”.

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Love the photo. Really. I could talk about it for hours. But then we’d never get to the part where the sign warns of DANGER….but, only in English…not the language of Visigoths!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Well Dana, your comment has me completely puzzled!… But thank you…

      • Dana Doran says:

        Another woeful Americanism…we don’t require anyone to speak a common language – that would be unduly burdensome, so, signs must be in English as well as Spanish, ballots are available in 17 different languages….as ridiculous as that sounds, what is even more ridiculous is having a sign warning of impeding danger, when the razor wire should be the only warning needed…..hence, Visigoths. They do not exist today – like common sense. I know, it wasn’t exactly a direct line of thought but, I’m an artist. Maybe. We’ll see.

      • Dave Whatt says:

        What? No Visigoths left!… Damn!…
        I like your indirectness D…

      • Dana Doran says:

        I know, sometimes I’m more fun, like when I don’t have to explain myself…it’s all a puzzle. Ah, yes, I’ll get back to it then…

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