This Post is Not About Art

When I tell you that the arrangement of sweetly colored textural shapes above is not art I sincerely hope you believe it. Admittedly, you have little reason to. You’ve been here before. You’ve seen that week after week I populate this space with images that are in fact art, or could, without too great a leap of imagination, be considered as such. High art, low art, unexpected art, unintentional art; Categorical labels and their attendant quotation marks, though generally eschewed, abound here for those who’d choose to employ them. This post though, is different. Truly. So when I assure you that the image above, and those to follow below are not art, have nothing whatsoever to do with art, and that when looking at them you probably ought to cringe and scowl, your nose ought to wrinkle, and you should turn away feeling vaguely disgusted, know that I mean it.

08.17. filed under: misc.


The first image (which made me think of Pop Rocks) seems to have been artistically arranged, if not artistically produced. The second reminds me of some H. P. Lovecraft paperback book covers, about 30 years back. Just add eyes and a suggestion of mouth ...

posted on 08.17 at 04:00 PMChris Kearin


These are what I sort of figured they must be by the third one. Very interesting and beautifully done. Er, so to speak.

posted on 08.17 at 06:54 PMjane


But…but…I want these pictures to be art!!  Doesn’t that make them art?  Since I’m the center of the universe, what I say should be art is art, isn’t it?

Ah, you have given me much to think about, and I’m not too bright, so I appreciate it.  Seriously, you have an awesome site and beautiful posts/pictures.  Thank you for sharing and for making us think.

posted on 08.19 at 06:21 PMJulie


Egad. So many typos. I’ve been in a fog this last week. All fixed now I think. Anyway…

@Julie: Well, now you’ve gone and ruined everything! Now, since you’ve intimated, however innocently, that these prettily colored abominations might be art, and that yes, you want them to be, they of course are. Great. Sheesh.

posted on 08.20 at 03:32 PMjmorrison


Somehow this reminds me of the book I found in the reference section of the Worcester Public Library (I wonder—after these vaguely several years—is it still there?) on the topic of crime scene photography. A textbook, it was thorough on methods and interpretation, and replete with photos in merciful black and white. Real crime scene photos, it averred, and I must assume truthfully. This is one of the few books I will not generally volunteer to having seen. I can say without irony that I feel tainted by some of those photos. Which I prefer not to describe. While I seem unavoidably the center of my own universe, I do not want those to be art.

posted on 08.25 at 12:46 AM.


great post. i feel the same way. have you read elaine scarry’s “on beauty and being just”? i think you’d enjoy it.

posted on 08.26 at 11:04 AMSterling

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