Thursday, March 19

Sheep, Art, Geekitude, Interior Decorating. Compare. Contrast.

It's so hard to really get where people get the ideas that they get without actually being them (the people, not the ideas).  I guess that's a good thing, because there's just not room up there for the sheer number and diversity of ideas in the world.  Now that you mention it--not that you did mention it--I don't really get where I get my ideas either.  But occasionally, I have some good ones.  Today was one of those days.

In the living room of my tiny little house I have a large "entertainment center" of sorts which is really an unorthodox conglomeration of Ikea bookcases with some extra parts thrown in for good measure.  There are things about it that don't work, but all in all, it's pretty good.  The thing is, when I bought it last year, I bought glass doors for the front--2 tall ones and 2 short ones.  I'm not naive enough to think that I could have one of those living rooms where clear glass serves to display the finest of wares.  I need to hide stuff, not display it.  So these glass doors have a white cardboard liner thingie that can be covered with any fabric or paper or pretty much anything.  It's a great idea--you can make the doors look any way that you want.

Anyway, when I bought them, Phoebe and I had these grand ideas about painting portraits of us (she'd paint one of me, and I'd paint one of her) and displaying them inside the cabinet doors.  I don't have to tell you what happened to that idea.   Life, that's what happened.  Oh, wait.  I guess I did have to tell you.

So the cabinets have remained white.  For almost a whole year.  Dark wood bookcases with blindingly white glass doors.  It looks stupid.  But try as I might, I haven't figured out what to do with them, mostly because I have a fierce internal battle between my geek-self, my artist-self, and my wish-I-had-even-one-decorating-gene-so-that-my-house-could-look-like-it-belongs-to-a-grownup-self.  Today--and I say this with great pride--I surrendered.  

I still don't have the slightest idea where the ideas came from, but suddenly they were there.  I was unwilling to give up the painting thing, so we're going to do that on the two smaller doors, a far more manageable task.  No great lightbulb moment there, I realize.  The two larger doors (which are about 15" wide by about 75" tall)?  Now those are a different story.

One of the large doors is now covered with green lego base surface.  Next to it is a basket filled with small flat lego pieces so that Phoebe and I, along with any visitor that joins us, can use color to make mosaic designs (or whatever) on that surface.  It's geeky--and artsy.  People are gonna assume it's for Phoebe.  They'll be wrong.  I love it. 

The other large door is similarly covered, but with a huge sheet magnet so that anything and everything can be stuck to it.  I don't know what is going to get stuck on there, but I can tell you right now that it's going to be good.  Maybe words.  Maybe paintings.  Maybe photographs. Maybe magnets.   Or maybe I'll just use it to erase people's credit cards when they come visit me, thereby doing my part to help them avoid debt in this time of financial crisis.  I'm helpful like that.

Cool.  Yeah, I'm a geek.  Yeah, I'm an artist.  Yeah, I'm no Martha Stewart.  Deal.  I like it.

But wait.  You want to know about the sheep.  And the art (not counting the cabinets).  Well, today, my friend Yvonne sent me a YouTube video that I'd never seen before.  The bad news was that, in the end, it became clear that it was essentially an advertising campaign.  The good news (which was much larger) is that it involved sheep.  And the most unusual set of human minds I may have ever witnessed. Who would think this up?  Who could think this up?    

Art is everywhere.  It's where you least expect it.  I love that.   

If you saw Lily Tomlin doing her one woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe", you'll remember her attempts to help an alien--who knows nothing of our ways--understand "what is art".  For those who missed this show (or were in second grade at the time), here's how she did it.   She held up the Andy Warhol painting of Campbell's soup.  Then she held up a can of Campbell's soup (which my daughter calls Cannibals soup, which I totally love).  Then she held up the painting again.  Then the soup again.  And as she did so, she explained what should be perfectly clear.  "This is art.  This is soup.  Art.  Soup.  Soup.  Art." Really, how much plainer can it get?  

And so, dear readers, I give you:  Sheep.  Art.  Art.  Sheep.   Try and ignore the corporate involvement if you can.  It's brilliant.

p.s. my favorite headline of the day:  "Counter-Terrorism Team Helps Deliver Baby at Penn Station."   I don't know, it just seems fitting.  Doesn't a birth sound like just about the best antidote to terrorism ever?   I know, depends if you're the one pushing the baby out, but still....

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