Barn Art !

Kansas Happy Cow

Art means many things to many people. Mike Savage, a vibrant Kansas City artist, states the following “Art is simple; either you like it or you don’t”. In my opinion, that sums up art appreciation rather well.

Rather than delve into the various (and debatable) view-points concerning the definition of art, we know it when we see it…kind of how I like to shop.

From crude hieroglyphics scratched into cave walls to modern graffiti painted on subways and trains, what some call art can also be construed as vulgar. Why do so many folks collect Classical European art and visit art museums with ancient artifacts; sojourn through markets looking to buy that perfect sculpture, weaving or painting; treasure an oriental vase from a long ago dynasty?

There is a man in a southern city in the United States who carves boxwood trees into recognizable and eye-catching living sculptures. His mastery with the hedge trimmer is sought by individuals and the city government which has employed this individual to shape a myriad of trees along the main streets of their town. Locals call his work ‘art’.

Ice sculptures, wood carvings, various types of paintings, fabric dying, rug weaving, pottery, sculpted metals, and ornate jewelry are often recognized as art. So are some buildings, bridges, totem poles, and botanical gardens considered works of art. However, not all art is static. Some of the most recognizable art is fluid: music, dancing, flowing waters, bird mating rituals; the Autumnal color spectacles. Occasionally, even some folks are called “works of art” . Although, I don’t believe that is always used as a compliment !

I so enjoyed seeing this whimsical painting on the face of an abandoned barn that I stopped and walked a bit just to snap a photo with my cellphone camera. I like to think of this painter as an artist. How about you?

Cacophony

My internet dictionary describes Cacophony as “a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds”. This term is often applied to an orchestra tuning their respective instruments before a concert. Each participant wants to achieve the best sound from the instrument as he or she plays it. From an audience’s point of view, it may sound a bit unorganized and odd. However, I like the warm-up and find it intriguing to listen to and watch.

For those of you who have children, grand children, nieces and nephews, you understand the definition of Cacophony! Crazy, fun, annoying, intolerable at times, but also a joyous sound during most moments. “Bless the little children”, said Jesus.

I could quite literally produce hundreds of photographs which would describe this word without using words. Life is just like that; a cacophony of experiences loud and soft, coherent and disconnected. This so-called chaos may come in the form of sound, as mentioned; visual, as represented in these two images; inner voices and / or confusing feelings, as so many of us have experienced; disturbing dreams; or experiences too baffling to explain.

Laser Lights 1-25-13 a

These photographs created a cacophony of sorts for me which included visual, audible and conflicting feelings. The photos were taken with my cell phone’s camera at a multi-band concert a few years ago. What seemed like chaos to me was simultaneously a joyful consensus of understanding and interpretation by many who attended this event.

Laser Lights 1-25-13 b

It seems to me that diversity is a key element to living a conflict free and satisfactory life…one without judgment or anger or fear. Also, a life with the freedom to chose what moves you. The cacophony of life can result in positive or negative experiences. As a favorite local artist of mine states on his business bookmark card, “Art is simple. You either like it or you don’t”. For me, Mike Savage summed up how we should live using this statement which presents itself as a philosophy for living. However, be gentle and kind when living-out this simple process. There should be no sense of judgement or condemnation.