I call it, “Nuts and Bolts” and I ask the simple question, “Is this art?”
After our recent vacation to London and visit to the Tate Museum which specializes in modern art, I would have to say, “yes, it is most definitely art.”
Whether it’s good art is a whole different question.
The first painting I ever sold at the first gallery show I ever had was called, “Sealed for your protection”.
It wasn’t a large painting (and neither is this one). I had a small canvas sitting around and couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I had been doing large acrylic and airbrush paintings and whenever I would open a new air brush color, I’d have to remove the seal at the top of the bottle (similar to an aspirin bottle). Each seal read, “Sealed for your protection”.
I grabbed the small canvas, filled my palette with every color I had and attacked the canvas with a palette knife, smothering the canvas in color. Then, before the globs of paint could dry, I stuck all those ‘seals’ into the paint and they literally became sealed into the painting.
After visiting the Tate, I was struck by the absurdity of some modern art.
There was one entirely white canvas that had been attached on top of another canvas and the artist had slit the top canvas open, to reveal a black canvas below. Brilliant!
There was another painting of squares within squares and the color composition and texture achieved were … brilliant!
Then there was the large, black canvas. It was large and it was black. Brilliant!
So that got me back into my experimental mode again. The painting I did right before this one is called, “The Paintings Within”.
It is a totally based off several different paintings by my painting hero, Rene Magritte. I am an absolute hack compared to Magritte but I love how he creates mystery with his paintings and makes you wonder why it was painted in the first place.
I spent hours and hours on this and could spend more hours still trying to fine tune it. But eventually, you have to say “Stop!” when you are painting as you begin to reach a point of diminishing returns.
I spent three nights painting the nuts and bolts and now know that I could have done it even quicker had I bought the kind of spray paint you use on outdoor furniture.
But tonight, I touched up the nuts and bolts and attacked the canvas with cobalt blue and then randomly stuck the nuts and bolts into their final resting place.
It was fun.
But is this art?