As I was heading back towards the subway after taking the photographs of the Fireman’s memorial and the monument to the soldier’s and sailor’s of the Civil War, I came across the “art installation” in the photograph above and had to stop to think about this for a minute.
There are those among us who will believe that everything under the sun that is purported to be art… is art. “I think, therefore I am.” I am not one of those people. I have a belief that there are certain qualifiers something must have in order to be art. These qualifiers cannot be absolutely defined, and they will differ wildly among the people observing the piece. So with that in mind, the items in the above photograph could be construed as art to someone else, but it certainly does not meet the test in my book.
In my book, I see a broken keyboard with unrelated plastic bits glued to it haphazardly. I see a green needle holder screwed (screwed!) to a bench along with a dirty, broken toothbrush and some other junk. This junk is secured, sloppily, to a board that is secured to a metal framework outside of what appeared to be the dirtiest apartment on 100th Street. I bet he makes his neighbor’s proud.
But there is one part of the puzzle above that resonates with me… It is the faint, worn, water-damaged writing on the paper behind it with the bold addition of “AND ABOUT CONSIGNMENT WORK” written in the corner. Suddenly it makes sense. This is a guy who is starving, and is obviously reaching desperate times and is begging for help.
K.I.S.S.: He needs money.
Suddenly the little art installation was no longer so pathetic. It wasn’t art… but it was a lesson, a reminder, created specifically for me and people like me. The lesson is twofold: 1) If I am sloppy in my expression, then I will starve. 2) Don’t quit my day job. Not yet, anyway.
Maybe Forty-One ‘will be our ticket outta here…’ ; )