Art?

Cindi looked out the window of her apartment this morn and spotted a bright orange hard-backed chair. It sat across the street in a lot between two unremarkable buildings. Curiously, this chair appeared to be perfectly centered in said lot. 
    — I wish I had my camera, she told him. 
    — As neat as I’m certain that experience was, he replied — it was not art. He invited her to look it up. He labeled it: happenstance. 
    — Art is deliberate, intentional, he declared. — It is, at root, a creative expression. 

He reflected on the aforementioned episode, years later, whilst rereading this journal entry. The photo Cindi had desired to snap of the chair, centered in the lot, would indeed count as art. What’s more, he’d admit, if he could (for Cindi’s whereabouts were unknown to him), that he was in no way qualified to judge what counts as art. Is a maple leaf art? Are caterpillars art? Would the wings of a moth or a butterfly not count as art? And what of the tornado tossed tractor-trailer? You might say such things are examples of the Almighty’s artistic expression. But you might then say that of everything in existence. If, instead, God is merely a figment, then who, or what, deserves the credit? Evolution? DNA? 

He nearly ruined a piece of “art” whilst visiting NYC’s MoMA. (This was several years before he met Cindi.) He’d spotted a stack of string-bound newspapers in the lobby, near the entrance; and he had some time to kill, so he strolled on over. The string was curiously stiff and the individual newspapers in the stack wouldn’t budge. He fished his small Swiss Army knife out of his front left jeans pocket. The moment before severing the string, he looked up and noticed the little identifying card fixed to the pony wall. (He wishes he could tell you what it said, but the detail escapes him.) So, apparently, a stack of glued-together newspapers passes as art. Fine. But what sort of person appreciates it? What sort of person purchases such a “work” and puts it on display in their living room? (Probably the same sort of nitwit who’d spend their life’s savings on an NFT. BTW: A single seed of grass has more tangible value.) Here’s hoping the “real” art was a film of so many unsuspecting museum patrons trying to help themselves to a goddamned newspaper. 

    — Art succeeds by stirring it’s audience, he’d tell Cindi, now, if he could. 

12 May 2000

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