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Sunday, September 13, 2009


composition in gray #5

The picture above I found on the sidewalk close to the door at WCOK. I've seen it there ever since the radio show began in August, 2003, that many years, 52 times a year. Every time I see it, I appreciate it there all by itself in a field of gray. Last Saturday was the time to get the picture of it. Took several, looking at it in different ways. This is the one that's closest to what I see looking at it. It says to me a full moon rising behind the ocean, the waves in the foreground. It doesn't mean this is what you're supposed to see in it. It's just what I see in it. The other way around it's a smiley face.

It's about the size of a gallon paint can. Basically, what I see is something that size sat there a long time and whoever painted the white on the side of the building was a sloppy painter. The other is just made up mental stuff, the need to find meaning in patterns. Like the face you see in trees from time to time. It's not a face, but we make the association, then it is a face.

The other composition in gray pictures are found on the cement slab porch at Jr Maxwell's house. I spend a fair amount of time sitting on the porch reading, watching the traffic go by, which is a lot more interesting visually than it seems, esp when a hundred motorcycles go by on a Saturday, chrome and lots of bright colors, a long roaring rumble. A Harley club from a big city. Charlotte maybe. I look around at the cracks and the varieties of textures and varieties of gray every day enjoying the entire surface like I'd like to turn it up on its side and display it as art. Then it would fall apart and have to be taken to the landfill. The part I like is that it's a piece of art only I am aware of. People walk on it, think nothing of it, a smooth surface. If I point any of it out to somebody, they tell the next person they see that guy's nuts. And they're right. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'd rather be someone who sees beauty everyplace than someone who says this, that and the other thing can be called beautiful, but not anything else. That's what Kulture Vultures are for. Like moving from painting to painting in a Monet exhibition with a crowd of people wearing headphones being told what's important about each individual painting. The beginning of stasis. When I found myself at Jr's every day, I questioned how I was going to get you a nice picture every day. I went into my mind where I see beauty everyplace, and gave myself the exercise to find it where I am, wherever that is. It's everyplace. All I need is the eyes to see it.

I tend to find the backsides of buildings more interesting than the front. The front is made for pretty, dolled up. The back is where we live, where the cars are parked, the door we go in and out carrying groceries, where the trash is put out or just left. That's where the stuff of our lives is found. I was taking pictures one time years ago of that big hotel restaurant in Glendale Springs. All was photo pretty. Then around back it needed a coat of paint a long time ago, nothing was done for looks; the cars, the trash, the delivery trucks, casual, at home. A totally different atmosphere.

20th Century art has come to the place that art is whatever you see with an eye for beauty of whatever your particular idea of the beautiful might be. Museums are nice. I go to one whenever I'm in a big city. But all the rest of the time, I've no access to a museum but through books, internet and film. So I let the world all around me be my museum, then I don't need to go to a city to see a museum. What I see there is great. But I never see there a deer jump from standing still straight up over a 4 foot fence of barbed wire and just barely clear it with the back feet, enough effort to make it with little room to spare, and no more. The motion in it is as beautiful as a swimming snake.

Today I saw a young buck with an 8 point rack jump a fence and trot out into the field a ways, head up high and stop, looking for his harem perhaps. I thought, Man, that crown on your head makes you a target with a slim chance of seeing the new year. Enjoy your life as a deer while you got it. Your face with glass eyes will be sticking out of somebody's wall this time next year. Somebody's idea of art.

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