Perhaps this is not “This is not art. No.17″…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: knobbly, waspy, pennatulaceous, coracoid, lixivial, strongyloid, interprovincial and frumpy.
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This is not art. No. 17:

It was yesterday afternoon, I was sitting upstairs on a number 8 bus heading into town. Ah, I thought, as I looked in front of me, some nitwit, probably a youth, has been burning the plastic back of the seat in front with his cigarette lighter. Of course, the perpetrator of the outrage could have been a ‘her’, but I think this is more the sort of thing that a lad, probably desperate for a smoke, agitated, and fiddling with his lighter, would enjoy doing.
On spotting the interesting shapes and the way the dark rich blue of the plastic had turned at first pale blue and then headed off towards a dimpled brown under the influence of the intense heat, I immediately thought of my series of photographs of things that look like artwork, but aren’t, to which I give the title This is Not Art, No… (click)
So, I eagerly got my camera out, set it on ‘close up’ and… Click!… Look, you can even see the reflection of my hands holding the camera in the top half of the image.
Perhaps I should at this point explain the odd and rather messy title of today’s post:
People love to rant on about what art is and what it isn’t – I think I might be one of them. But when one looks at this piece (yes, let’s get into the mood and call it a ‘piece’) one realises very quickly that the marks were intentionally made by someone – these are not random scuffs or scratches, caused accidentally, or by some whimsical force of nature, there has been a little bit of thought, and perhaps even a sense of design, involved in its creation.
So what is the difference between this and a proper bit of art, a painting, print, or drawing? This ticks most of the boxes (as they say) for it being an artwork: colour, form, intention, texture, expression – what more could you want – a nice frame round it?…

What do you think of the composition dear reader? I suppose I had a hand in that side of things. I like the inclusion of that curve top left and the slanting line on the right. I suppose if we are considering the perpetrator of this an artist, I am now his collaborator…
By the way, look at that scorch mark bottom left – there is someone in there watching us and grinning – it reminds me of that ghostly face that was spotted on the surface of Mars a few years ago. (Mars face)

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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12 Responses to Perhaps this is not “This is not art. No.17″…

  1. Dana Doran says:

    I noticed that you were being particularly clever this morning….not adding a link to the dictionary definition of “art”…..something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings…..so the definition of “art” is well settled albeit subjective…it’s in the eye of the beholder! of course, then there are the rules and regulations against using certain “mediums” and “substrates” by changing the name of “art” to “vandalism” when the substrate isn’t owned by the artist. Oh hang on, there’s a planetary emergency I must attend to.

  2. Oh Its a blue blob monster! Running away from his sulky faced owner there, on the left. Lovely piece of action you captured there! I wonder if the artful owners of these pieces ever wander on here and see you have catapulted them into the world wide web?
    “Oy Mick….some geezer on t’internet is showing everyone yer burnin’ down the bus’ fer a laugh”
    “Oh aye? Is that right Bob? Wots he sayin’ about it? He aint old bill is ‘ee?”
    ” Nah Mick…’ees sayin’ its art for gawds sake! “ees got big words fer it an’ everythin'”
    “Ack Bob, lerrim get on wi’it then…..might be good money in it fer me if I sign them from now on, eh Bob? Get me all rich ‘n’ famous like, eh”
    “Aye, Mick…put yer name onnit. Ye can get me some fish ‘n’ chips wi’ yer first paycheck!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Goodness me Scribbler! Ho ho ho!…
      But yes, they have been in touch and they do want royalties… No, no, I jest! Mind you, as I always say – I’ve seen far worse art on posh gallery walls.
      Mick and Bob sound half Scottish and half cockney to me – ah, but of course you won’t be familiar with our Dulltown accent…

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