Saturday, June 15, 2013
NaBloPoMo: Thoughts on Impermanent Art
The artist who painted N's arm today is just that: an artist. She's not just someone who paints faces in the same way that everyone else paints faces. People become her living canvases. Not all sparkly butterflies are the same. (This piece, for example, is just astounding.)
Watching her, I found myself thinking about how selfless her work was. How painting people with impermanent paint, children especially (who are bound to wipe it off or sweat it off or do who knows what to the paint before it all comes off in one soapy rinse), is art that doesn't last. My friend C, who happened to be there with us, and who does elaborate cake decoration for fun, said that she'd discussed this with the artist, and they both like this impermanent approach to filling the world with beauty that becomes, in some way, consumed, and then vanishes.
Given our penchant for putting artwork in museums or behind glass in private collections or in any other number of protected spaces, or even putting things on the internet (where they never really go away, even if we delete them), this is so interesting to me. So much beautiful cake, gone in a matter of minutes, destroyed the moment we slice into it. So many breathtaking faces (and other body parts), returned to their natural state at the next shower.
Have you ever had your face (or any other body part) painted with temporary body paint? (I'm not counting tattoos here). Have you ever eaten a really beautiful cake or an artistically presented meal? How do you feel about impermanent art?