This is not art. No. 43…

But first…
Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s giraffe is the one attempting to drive a vintage motorbike and sidecar, but having trouble using the foot-operated gears and brakes – look out, stand back, here she comes again!…

Oh, my dear reader! What an arresting and striking piece of work this is!
An outstanding composition, both in colour and in form. Although a relatively recent creation, it has a timeless and monumental quality to it – does it hint at hard-edge painting of the mid-twentieth century? Do the radiating cracks and splinters refer to Duchamp’s Large Glass of 1923? Is this a political, and possibly an anarchic, piece?
Let us stand back for a moment and take note of the use of colour. The Stygian aggressive black running riot across the grubby spattered off-white surface, which looks reminiscent of day-old pavement snow corrupted by urban filth, with an added overlay of dirty cracked ice – do we have cause and effect depicted here? Yes, I think we have.
The pale blue, desperately trying out the role of a shadow to the strident black, and failing badly, looks too delicate, and too pleasantly sky-like, to be even present in this stark turgid drama!
The whole piece is dominated by the giant ‘X’ – is it backed by the silhouette of a capitalist tower block? It is shouting ‘No! No! Enough! Enough!’ Can you hear it dear reader? I certainly can!…
Or, is this a religious work, with the Christian Chi Rho, taking centre stage? I don’t know. Do you know? Who knows? It doesn’t matter? But let us relax for a moment, and let the work speak to us in its own language – the timeless abstract language, of rectilinear form, and bleak colour…

Yes, you see, someone, probably a drunk person on a Saturday night, had, just for fun, bashed the window of one of the Dulltown centre shops or bars (I can’t recall which it was) and on the Sunday morning the owners had been called in to make it safe using a handy roll of sticky tape. And what a nice job they made of it! I think those blue areas might be ‘glue side’ of the tape that has been applied to the inside surface of the glass.
As soon as I saw this I whipped my little camera out, and – click!

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 This is not art. No. 43…

  1. I think this is actually very beautiful and all kinds of stories in it, and I’m not being facetious, somehow the whole thing really appealed to me.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I agree Claudia!
      It looks really well composed – especially with those blue bits shadowing the black bits…

      • Yes. Very strong and assertive and has dimension to it that keeps it from being just…tape…cracks in glass…Sometimes I wonder at the role of serendipity in art (as in many things) and I am coming to the idea that either the universe itself just wants to make art too, or else all art is serendipity beamed into different peoples’ heads that they then believe is their own idea. Well, now I’ve drifted out to sea, mentally, I think, but…???

      • Dave Whatt says:

        I like your drifting Claudia!
        I think being able to notice things like this is an essential part of being an artist – we see the world a bit differently from other folk – well, I think we do anyway!…
        See, I’m drifting now!…

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    Nice capture! Oh, and we do all like serendipity, don’t we?

  3. memadtwo says:

    Here’s to the randomness of the world! (K)

  4. David Manley says:

    Ah…a fine example of what (rather wittily, I thought in 1969!) I dubbed the ‘abstract vernacular’ when we were sent out of our Foundation studies to ‘capture’ images of this kind…mind none of us came back with one as good as this!

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