Friday, May 04, 2007

Forgotten art


Shunted aside
San Francisco, CA, March 2007


It's a bright, sunny afternoon. The sky is brilliantly blue and San Franciscans have hit the streets in droves to drink in the glory. I'm walking among them, exploring this city with my eyes and my camera, trying to remember what it feels like to be enthralled every time I turn my head.

The brightness is easy to see (examples here, here and here) as I click away. But it's in the shadows where some of the most memorable images can be found. For example, a long-forgotten garage that sits in the corner of an old building. It is semi-enclosed on two sides by an iron grate fence. An old red Toyota Tercel sits inside, its hood, roof and trunk covered with so much dust that the color has faded to near-gray. Miscellaneous pieces of garbage that have floated in from the surrounding streets have started to accumulate in the corner.

I debate whether I should try to wedge my lens between the iron, then conclude that this place probably hasn't been visited in a very long time, so it's worth the admittedly slight risk. I catch sight of an abandoned frame in the corner, then carefully compose and shoot.

I doubt that whatever is inside the duct-taped frame is high art, but it's not my place to define what is and is not worthy of the label. In the end, something that someone once valued has been abandoned to time and the elements, and that's pretty much all that I see as I peer into the dusty, shady corner on this otherwise bright, sunny afternoon.

Your turn: Fine art is...?

12 comments:

tommiea said...

somthing created in love... have my 2 and 3 year old original art work hanging matted and framed in our home. It has been neat to see the progression of their skills in just the past year. Yet another way to preserve this year my husband is missing...sadly.

Paul said...

I don't think I've ever been directly under you to say, "Hi, Michele sent me."

Interesting photo.

Fine art is good with red wine.

kenju said...

I think that painting is the reverse side, and I would have liked to see what the other side of it looked like. I see it says "2x2", and it could be some child's version of the ark.

Fine art is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.

hanulf said...

Fine art is... a glimpse of beauty... a slice of reality... carefully crafted with some skill or technique

Michele's is still going strong! :)

R. Sherman said...

Fine art is what you think it is. It evokes emotion; it touches you; it sends you off on cogitations, happy or otherwise, of your own.

Cheers via Michele.

yemi said...

Just wanted to say Happy Trip to China:) Hope you take tons of pics and write about it.

chase said...

something that is timeless like the ones I saw in Louvre before. They were wonderful pieces of art. But I think if you look closely around you there is always art everywhere

CG said...

Fine art is something that speaks to the observer...

Anna said...

Hey...kenju took mine....

so...

Fine art is....a window into humanity.

JC said...

There might be a priceless treasure hidden in that frame... we'll never know...

Prego said...

I have a love/hate relationship with the "art world". I know when I appreciate the artwork... but something about walking into a restaurant and seeing some local yokel's mediocre cr*p hanging on the walls with a $350 price tag makes me cringe.

My wife keeps suggesting I put up some of my illustrations at a restaurant. I think I might, with a modest $8.50 sticker on it (unless some haüsfraü is actually willing to shell out $400... in which case, kah-ching).

Fine art? The last ten seconds of regulation in last night's Sabres/Rangers game - and the subsequent overtime. That sh*t you can't frame.

Here by my own accord tonight, mon frere.

Janet said...

Hey Carmi

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. When are you headed to Princeton? I'm about an hour from there, but I don't know if I'd be much help considering I don't go there much. Drop me a line though and I'll answer what I can!:)