White Noise: “Any random, collective occurrence of unrelated things”-www.businessdictionary.com . “Noise containing many frequencies with equal intensities”- The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary.
I came across this random collective occurrence of unrelated things in New York last August. Here is the first photo I took of it (which I showed in my New York blog post).
I asked this guy if I could photograph him and his dog in front of the wall. Man and dog were most obliging. I thought it might be my only chance at getting a shot at that wall. One never knows if one is going to come across something again in an unfamiliar city. I didn’t even know what street I was on (I still don’t). However a couple of days later while walking, I found myself at the same spot. I photographed it a second time, also put it into my post and asked a question in the caption (photo and caption below).
I asked myself something similar. “Could this urban tangle of marks and torn paper have artistic merit?” (Yes.) And then… “Can I make it my art?” Mulled it over. Several months later and after seeing a lot of street art, graffiti and tagging in London I couldn’t bear it any more. I HAD to make a drawing of it.
It is a totally ‘found’ image. I found it and in drawing it I validate it! I have read that Jasper Johns paints “…things seen, but not looked at.” Who would look twice at this? Me. To the eye of this beholder it is an exciting and energetic mix of shapes, colours and textures. It is also loud…in places; in fact, a juxtaposition of noise and quiet. Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns come to mind when I look at the wall. Having been at MoMA the day before, I didn’t think this wall would be out of place among the abstract expressionism and pop art within.
Two weeks ago I drew the same paste-up figure (seen in a different location in Soho) in a drawing I named “Low“. I see “Low” as similar to “Le Fugitif” – two more examples of “things seen but not looked at”.
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