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day 4

"day 4"
paper and found objects collage on cardboard panel
gregory a. milinovich

so, here we are, over halfway through the week and the series. since i have only had two commentors on the subject, i am assuming most of you are bored by the topic, so i apologize. maybe you'd rather talk about the incredible joy of eating swedish fish. i mean, how is it that sweden can make gummy candy so much better than the rest of the world? what do they have there in sweden, besides abba and meatballs and ikea?

man, those fish are good.

i found a discarded bag of swedish fish, all of them eaten, left to float to its final resting place, buried amidst some fast food napkins and soda bottles. i plucked it from its dishonorable position, and glued it to a peice of cardboard, along with some other bits of refuse i found that day. i could have been watching tv or planning a sermon or raising money to help those who are without or getting some much needed rest. but i wasn't. i was gluing garbage, hoping to heaven that it might not be in vain; hoping, against hope, that once glued together, this garbage might help me (us?) ask questions that need to be asked and think things that need to be thought and do things that need to be done.

man, that is enough reason for me to keep doing what i'm doing, whether its 'art' or not. sweden makes meatballs out of meat (i think), and fish out of...whatever that gummy stuff is. i make collages out of garbage.


Emoly said…
German's make a good gummy bear. But the point at hand is the deep philosophical question, is this art? Does Sweden produce art? Are Swedish Fish art? And again, I ask, why not? If it is created, in a sense it becomes art. So, Greg, I do see art in the garbage that you make into a collage. Do I like the Swedish Fish collage? It's not one of my favorites. But does it begin a discussion. I think so.
greg. said…
when something is made for mass consumption, i have my doubts about it as art. but many chefs would tell you that making food is indeed an art.
cathyQ said…
Well, Aristotle said that wisdom begins in wonder, so just asking the questions about your art is the greatest step toward grasping its meaning and significance. Trying to define "art" is the problem. Ask 100 people to define it and you will come up with at least that many answers. It is art, if it is art to you. Although only a dillente, I do consider myself an artist. I have created art with pine cones, felt, yarn, icing, beads, paint, and certainly fabric. Would others look at my art and name it as such. Probably, not; nevertheless, every item was created by me to express my feelings and evoke feelings in others. Art is not in the eye of the beholder; it is in the eye of the creator. Painting on velvet is not art to me, but it certainly is to the one who painted it. Of course it is always a bonus to have someone look at our art and feel, express, and appreciate the message, but if he/she doesn't, it does not negate the artness of the creation. Art is not a product; it is a process. It is the means, not the end. As for your collages, I think they are definitely art. They reflect your thoughts, your finding, your ideas, your creativity, your medium, your technique. They evoke feelings, ideas, and memories. Yes, even the Sweedish Fish one. If nothing else, it makes me hungry for those red, stretching, sweet, tooth-sticking, fake fish in the colorful bag.As for a Snickers wrapper, well, don't get me started on that!

Speaking of collages, I just had my Honors English 10 classes create a collage of pictures to represent a selected character from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. I am in the process of grading them. Wow, talk about difficult! Grading art is even more subjective than defining it! Anyway, the collages are so fascinating. I probably have about 10 collages about Brutus, yet each one is absolutely nothing like the others. I have no trouble figuring out the character by looking at the pictures (which are just magazine cut-outs, computer graphics, etc) and the way they are arranged. Wow. It is amazing what can be conveyed through something as simple as cut out pictures glued on a piece of cardboard. Sounds familiar...

By the way, happy belated birthday Max! I love you too! Even if you do make funny noises and have the worst smelling gas in the history of the universe! You are so cute.

Gotta go see if I have any Sweedish Fish in the cupboard.
greg. said…
thanks for the comment, mom! it's good to have some other input into the conversation.

i like the aristotle quote. i always want to be full of wonder.

i agree with most of what you've said here, that there seems to be no question that the things we create are, at least in some way, considered 'art.' but the question, then, that persists for me, is: why?
why make it?
why do it?
why invest in it?
i mean, i actually really enjoy making my collages. it is both a peaceful and chaotic process for me, very satisfying. but is that all it is? wouldn't i be better served using that time to read or be in relationship with someone or even sleep?

still wondering,
Bill said…
I am trying to buy a photo, created by a regular customer of mine. He got the gumption to actualy throw an art exhibition of his own work.
I hated most of it. But I like this photo.
It was an accident.
"Virtual Forest" is its name, and it is a picture snapped through the broken seal of a frost hazed window.
It is a photo of nothing. An experiment of a bored man on a day he was afraid to leave the house because of the weather.
In this case, art is an accident. This photo is so evocative of a deep, lush forest. Trees,'s so real, you can picture furry little animals going about their business.
It's nothing but frost. Random, unknowing frost on a window of suspect quality. That's art.

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