Found Art

I was browsing through a local ‘look-at-all-the-culture-our-city-has’ magazine which included a special section profiling the many art studios and galleries in the area. Now, I like to consider myself a somewhat cultured person. I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris. When the Monet show came through town, I soaked it all in. I am all for people having the freedom of expression, but as I looked through that special section on art, I realized that I don’t understand the latest trends in expressing oneself.

I am especially intrigued by found art. And yes, found art is exactly what it says it is. People find things, see beauty in them, and try to share that beauty with others. Found art might be simply a broken piece of glass. It might be a wet piece of paper lying in a gutter with a note written to an apparently busy husband and dad, reminding him to “remember to pick up your son this time – it’s his birthday.” Found art could be a happy meal toy sitting on top of a perfectly colored fallen leaf. Whatever the object is, someone takes the time to collect it and display it for others to see. This whole found art thing would almost seem like a joke, except that I am willing to bet that you have seen these things yourself. You might not have picked them up and displayed them in a gallery or even told anyone else about them, but you saw the beauty in them, and for a moment they changed your life.

I’ve been considering becoming a found object artist. I think the only thing that holds me back is the fear that others would not see the beauty that I see. Not to get all tree-falling-in-the-woods on you, but is something truly beautiful if only one person believes it is? I mean, it’s not like we all see beauty in the same places right?

To be honest, that is my biggest fear, that no one will see beauty in me. Maybe what has me so intrigued about found art is that I feel like just another object tossed out in this crazy world looking for meaning and hoping for purpose. I am waiting for someone to come along, pick me up and call me beautiful. Someone who can see me just as I am, but recognize something deeper, something more, something beautiful. That’s what I found, or rather what my God found in me. He looks at me and sees the beauty of his Son’s sacrifice, not instead of me… but within me. God recognizes that same beauty in each of us. Maybe what he sees in us is more important than what we see in ourselves. Maybe it’s time that we re-think our perspective.

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  • uhh… all my photography is “found art”… unless I get someone to pose… but that doesn’t happen often…

  • That’s my spirit filled boy!

  • I thought of your “found art” post last night just before I turned my compost pile. (Un-turned compost is very pretty, with lots of brilliant colors: white egg shells, green and red strawberry stems, pale yellow corn cobs, deep dark coffee grounds. . . . ) Absolutely beautiful!

    Then I mixed it all up, and now it’s just a messy ‘ole decomposing pile of gunk (Yes, I took a pretty thing and made it ulgy – which is eaxactly opposite of the point you were trying to make: plain things become beautiful – But never mind that part – My pretty compost pile was pretty, and I thought of you!

  • That's my spirit filled boy!