Does art have a shelf life?

Does art have a shelf life?

There are those who look at art and see junk, and those who look at junk and see art. As a procrastinating pack rat, I’ve amassed a pretty impressive collection of precious junque over the years. Of course it's all junque with potential. I just can’t make myself part with the random tchatzkahs that have been lurking on my shelves and in my head as art, patiently waiting for me to use them. For a husband who sees the shelves, but not inside my head, this can lead to some pretty tense moments in a marriage!

Recently when Alan asked me to help rid the house of its accumulated surplus, I said I’d try. I’ll bet for some people a major purge is probably an instinctive thing that kicks in at a certain stage in life; like nesting when expecting a baby, it is nest-emptying for empty-nesters. I felt his pain, but still I had my own conflicting urge to hold on.

Last week, after a profoundly liberating acupuncture session, I was challenged and inspired by my uniquely gifted acupuncturist to participate in a metaphorical exercise to “clean up my house.” I went home and wound up spending the day working on a collage that lived for so long in my head I thought it had expired.

I had collected, among other random objects, some naturally dead (not by my hand) flies because I like the idea of using organic materials.  Okay, so maybe that’s a little weird, but I’m not Damien Hirst. Anyway, as I was intensely engrossed in gluing down two flies, the indispensable finishing touches to my project, I hardly noticed my dog near my feet, except that she was chomping and slurping rather noisily. Soon I was peripherally aware of a strange odor, but the flies demanded my complete, undivided attention.

Okay, done…Daisy what’s up with you? I looked down and saw that my sweet little dog was engrossed in her own project. She’d dragged a decomposed creature in from the yard. Although it was hard to identify the body, it had the tail of a squirrel. So what was I to do? I immediately took a picture. It'll go on a shelf with all the other photos I’ve stashed away over the years. And it could turn up as art. Someday…

Posted on March 4, 2011 and filed under Un-Blog Me!.