Transitory Art: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

by Lonnie Lardner on March 23, 2014

(Pic #1) Ephemeral art - off the wall

(Pic #1) Ephemeral art – off the wall

I’m on a rare vacation with my husband, but I am still always on the lookout for amazing art. In one morning, I saw two great works. The first is this piece by controversial artist Damien Hirst. He’s the dude who celebrates death in his art – by showcasing dead animals in formaldehyde and sometimes live creatures in artificial environments. If PETA has a public enemies list for artists, he would probably be number one.  He’s shown a severed cow’s head – with an infestation of flies – and a suspended bull’s head in a tank – which sold for 18 million dollars . (Pic #2) 
(Pic #2) Butterfly installation by Damien Hirst

(Pic #3) Butterfly installation by Damien Hirst

(Pic #3) "The Golden Calf" by Damien HIrst

(Pic #2) “The Golden Calf” by Damien Hirst

The Hirst painting I saw hanging in the dining room at the Rancho Valencia Resort, is made up of hundreds of butterflies – all perfectly, flatly arranged – under glass. (Pic #3) The butterfly series, called “In and Out of Love” was recently featured at the Tate Modern in London, and received some scathing reviews. The resort says this piece is worth over 2 million. 
Fleeting Beauty
The other extraordinary work I found is actually more to my taste. (Pic #1) Its floating shapes remind me of some of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. (Pic #4) It’s not worth millions – in fact it’s never been appraised at all. It’s a spectacular piece, but by the time I finished writing this post, it was gone forever. The artists name? Well, I guess it’s “Subaru.”

(Pic #3) "Music - Pink Blue" by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1918

(Pic #4) “Music – Pink Blue” by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1918

See – this incredible collection of shapes and colors was caused by the San Diego sun reflecting off the tail and brake lights of a Subaru XV that was parked near the entrance to the hotel. (Pic #5) It was there just long enough for me to notice it, and grab a quick picture.  It will never hang in a museum, or gallery for that matter, nor the dining room of a ritzy resort, but for one moment, on one Sunday morning, it emerged as a masterpiece.

(Pic #4) The art of reflection

(Pic #5) The art of reflection


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