"Too Much" - Art Or Mess?, December 31, 1998

I was looking at books of artistic photography at Bookman's. Some of the captured images were surprising. I didn't find them artistic. In fact, some were downright disturbing. But the photographer found art in them. The editor of the publishing house that printed the books found them worthy. Who is right? Mystified me, or them?

Or can art be judged? I've seen depictions of ugly garbage held up as art. I want to cry out that the 'artist' is insulting us and playing a bad joke. Is it indictive of a seriously sick society that such things are brought before us? Or am I merely being narrow minded?

With that in mind, I'll share a photo I captured today while sewing. I looked at the mess of bobbins piled up, with their threads entangled with pins, and found something artistic about it. The interplay of the repetition of circular forms contrasted with the various diagonal elements is visually pleasing to me. It's amusing as an record of amazing mess, as well. In my haste to get things done, I don't take the time to put the bobbins away once I'm finished with them. So the little collection grows, until I have a tangled up conglomeration of immense proportion. Is this picture 34K of web waste? Or art? You decide.