Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Illustrative mortality

Darlings, Pretty Lady cannot say how much she's missed you. Alas, not only 'tis the season for literary readings, art openings, and discount tickets to hear Ute Lemper, but Pretty Lady is working under deadline. She can only catch a moment now and then to say hello.

However, after that last abysmal post on the State of the Art World, she feels she must balance the scales. This weekend, on her way back from a literary reading, she passed a certain Fence she knows about; one of the best-kept secrets of the art world, in general. It is a Fence in a constant state of Flux. Pretty Lady passes by every couple of months, to take note of the changes.

This, my dears, to the uninitiated, is Good Graffiti. As opposed to those atrocious, spray-painted 'tags,' which are the ghetto equivalent of a canine urinating upon a fire hydrant.

The figure to the right is a creation of a lady who goes by the name of Swoon. It is made, you will note, of paper. The lady draws the figures at home, cuts them out in lace-like detail with exacto knives, and surreptitiously, under cover of darkness, glues them to Fences round the city, like this one.

Of course, paper cutouts do not last long on outdoor walls in New York City. When one passes repeatedly by a piece by Swoon, over weeks or months, one will note various stages of decay; the paper peels, is rained on, gets spray-painted by punks, is torn away by the Department of Transportation and eventually eradicated.

This, a kind reader informs me, is her self-portrait.

You say--this lady must be a lunatic. Why would she do such a thing? Nobody is paying her for this; nobody knows her real name. Within a few months at most, this labor-intensive artwork will have vanished without a trace. This lady ought to get a Real Job, writing novels, or bearing children, or doing Power Point presentations.

Pretty Lady hates to break it to you, my loves, but we are all going to die. In a best-case scenario, we are souls imprisoned in corpses, to be freed upon enlightenment. In a worst-case scenario, we shall simply die, and that is that.

Great Art, in Pretty Lady's opinion, acknowleges this fact, without harping upon it. In this case, death is built into the piece. The pristine paper figure is placed in the world, which ages it and turns it to dust. Producing Great Art, such as this, strikes Pretty Lady as one of the few worthwhile ways to pass one's brief moments upon this globe. Provided, of course, that the moments of production are enjoyable, since nothing else whatsoever is guaranteed.

Look closely. There's a cat in the corner.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lovely post and photos, Pretty Lady, and a nice tribute to the generous spirit of the True Artist.

Southside Rabbitslayer. We have a Buddhist temple near here and a year or so ago some visiting monks did a sand mandala that was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.

Terry_Jim said...

What an interesting art form,
A generous gift of time and beauty from the artist. Such a contrast to the bloody moronity you wrote of in your last post.

The medium is certainly the message in Swoon's work isn't it.

Isaiah 40:7 The grass withers, the flower fades, because the Lord's breath blows on it. Surely the people are like grass

(Yet, don't be anxious...)

Matthew 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today exists, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, won't he much more clothe you, you of little faith? 31 "Therefore don't be anxious, saying,'What will we eat?','What will we drink?' or,'With what will we be clothed?'
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first God's Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore don't be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day's own evil is sufficient.

Pretty Lady said...

Therefore don't be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day's own evil is sufficient.

Thank you, Terry_Jim, this is a particularly apt Quote for Today. Pretty Lady woke up with a certain degree of anxiousness, although her refrigerator is not yet empty and the rent, so far, is paid.