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PARTING SHOT: Can crushed cans be art?

PARTING SHOT: Can crushed cans be art?

I am going to tell you what you already know. Yes, just like that. Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Irritating in it’s repetitiveness, but essential for the finer things in life − you know, like art and fine art. So if art is a universal concept, then fine art is perhaps the more polished version, more imaginative, intellectual and aesthetically pleasing.

How often have you stood in front of a piece of so-called art and asked someone who’s not really listening, “But, is it really art?” Only the library of visual sensations stored in your brain over the years can be the judge of that. Only you can be the director of your symphony of aesthetics. So we are right back to the eyes looking at the light reflecting off objects, be they sculptures, installations, paintings or photographs.

The red in this image, because of its surface or molecular structure, has the ability to reflect red wavelengths of light and absorb its opposite colour, cyan. (Cyan is not a commonly used colour and is, in terms of light, an equal mix of green and blue). Whether the image is art, I would not dream to say. I just photograph what I like.

One of my other interests while travelling Southern Africa’s roads is to collect flat cans. In fact, I am a seasoned, flat can-can dancer and have scoured the areas in front of bottle stores, bars, trading stores, abandoned villages, and even cemeteries for interesting flat cans. In my living room I have a large framed ‘artwork’ of my best collection of flat cans collected over 40 years, which I wouldn’t sell for anything. Well, maybe, under prolonged torture, for a lot of something.

This particular flat can was photographed right in front of the Hotazel Bottle Store in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality of the Northern Cape in 1991.

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