Oscar Wilde once said,“It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” Wilde’s words have increasingly come to mind over the past month or so as I have pondered and watched others ponder the new piece of art in the AHSS Dean’s Office. It is a very different piece and it has produced a tremendous amount of conversation.
I keep thinking that if I look at it long enough I will finally see what I am missing and completely understand what the artist was going for. Perhaps it is similar to those optical illusions wherein you can either see the lady in the hat or the old hag. But I have looked at that piece of art and discussed it with others many times and I still remain confused about what I am looking at. Truth be told, I cannot recall when last I spent this much time fixated on one piece of art.
Here is a fuzzy, but fair capture of the art piece in question from my phone camera
I am told by one of the Dean’s administrative assistants that Michael Strand – one of our esteemed faculty members at NDSU and himself quite the artist – is the one who supplied the art to the Dean’s office. It is a piece, as I understand it, that he had in a collection somewhere which is now on loan to the Dean’s office for folks’ viewing pleasure. The artist’s signature in the corner of the piece appears to read jonas.91. Being the astute Google researcher I am, I searched for information on the mystery artist – but I came up empty. All that is left to do is to beg Michael Strand for whatever information he has on this conversation-generating piece of art.
Who is this artist and what did he or she want to provoke with this piece of art? I challenge you dear readers to ponder it awhile (as so many others have) and share what you see. My best guess after much deep reflection is that there is a message in this art about what is waiting over the next bump in the road – that which can barely be seen, but that equates with better things on the horizon. Pretty basic interpretation, I know. What can I say – I am just one of the spectators.
Day one thousand three hundred and sixty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da