I am not sure what to make of this short article in cool news, which is edited by Tim Manners. He quotes an article from the New York Times about inadvertent art galleries where there is a (remote?) possibility to see art, if you can imagine it. What does that mean?
To me, it means exactly what I have been thinking about street art - that it is an art form, even if it is decaying, and that the way you view it - in its entirety or in its fragments, constitutes artwork. But I don't think that is really what the NY Times meant....
BTW, this photo is one that I took in a Highline underpass. Shhhh.....
Read on and see for yourself:
Accidental artworks "lie in wait around just about every corner and down every street," writes Roberta Smith in the New York Times (8/25/11). This "inadvertent, not-quite-art" is "available for viewing, if you are open to it." For example, there's the "enveloping environment in the form of a narrow sliver of a parking lot under the High Line ... The tunnel-like space has its own atmosphere and a touch of calm, always shady, dry and protected ... Open at both ends, but otherwise boxed in, it is a closet for cars" stacked "something like enormous shoes on shelves."
But the real treat "is the thick, relatively pristine layer of blacktop underfoot," an asphalt carpet that reminded Roberta of sculptor Tony Smith's 1966 account of "driving at night, illegally on an unfinished jet-black portion of the New Jersey Turnpike." As Tony explained: "It seemed that there had been a reality there which had not had any expression in art." (Like Roberta said, you have to be open to it.) A few blocks away, Roberta finds a small building, whose "sand-colored stucco was troweled on in rough dollops" that "suggest an immense blow-up of a small portion of what could be an oil painting by any number of artists." Van Gogh, perhaps.
Then there's concourse beneath Rockefeller Center, much of which "is punctuated with glass-fronted, lighted vitrines set into the walls, meant for advertising. There are lots of them -- small, large, square and rectangular." Nary an ad in them, though, and so "the glass windows have been lined with colored paper or other material in varying shades of blue, green and yellow, jazzed up by a few that are a sharp burnt orange ... Since the vitrines are placed at different heights and irregular intervals," the effect "is a bit like traveling among the elements of a greatly magnified glass mosaic." New York's inadvertent galleries, says Roberta, remind us "that the city is an unending source of wonder. In the end, nothing amazes like reality." ~ Tim Manners, editor.