When isn’t it art?
Art pervades our lives or what we do – from normal things like waiting for a tube through to creating a dramatic event. The everyday ordinary to the novel spectacle all involve artistic choices – and not necessarily just by the artist. Three people I came across during February make me wonder, ‘When isn’t it art?’
According to the Telegraph’s Culture Picture Galleries, Ewing Paddock has spent three years painting people on London’s Underground. Looking at his work I feel as though I am on the Tube sitting opposite the people in the paintings. These pictures aren’t pretty, but they provide us all with the ultimate people-watching luxury: you can stare as much as you like and they won’t punch you in the face.
On Marian Bantjes website she has a Valentines 2014 display of fan letters with envelopes written to the film star Robert Wagner. They were sent in 1957 - some never even opened, until now. This is called a mixed media art installation. The artist’s has added her own red fan-shaped stamp to some of the envelopes. By displaying these letters as art Marian Bantjes brings our attention to the fact that like any artist, these people started with a blank sheet and then made choices about placing their marks, just as she has made choices about applying her stamp.
In De Zeen, 24 February 2014, there is an article about how Lauren Bowker, in her workshop in the undgerground passages below Somerset House, made a leather mask which she painted black using her own inks. The clever thing is that her ink changes colour when heat is applied. So by setting light to a model wearing this giant mask, the black folds are now in iridescent bird-feather colours. You can see a video of how surprisingly calm the model stays on the De Zeen website. I believe ‘No Models Were Harmed In the Making of This Video'. The choices here are not just by the artist but by the model too - as well as the person behind the camera who has perpetuated the one-off event for us.
Whatever we do, for everyday living or art event, we make choices about placement and space. So, when isn’t it art? Over to you.