It’s simply about being aware… conscious, open.
While surveying a corporate bank client’s new cafeteria construction site in a Manhattan high-rise last month, I stumbled onto this gorgeous green wall (above). I fell in love — with the color, the haphazard strokes of paint, and the funky protruding electrical cables. It reminded me of Franz Kline’s work (normally in black and white) – at a fraction of the cost. The funny thing was – I kept hearing managers asking contractors about the space, “when will this be done?”
I chuckled to myself – because I felt it WAS done. In its current state, this stretch of drywall has all the elements of a Rauschenberg combine: loose, wide brushstrokes, a sweet sense of negative space, and 3D objects adding intrigue and dimension.
The saddest thing is – this underground masterpiece will never be seen by anyone – but you, right here. I just heard that construction on the eco-friendly cafeteria is completed, and employees and customers will now only see what they’re supposed to see: perfection.
In my corporate creativity workshops, I always stress the importance of really SEEING what’s around you. Sometimes that means looking down. Way down. Case in point – the parking lot surprise above (Pic #2) left by someone in a hurry. Lying flat on the asphalt – in a classic F-YOU pose, this work glove emerged as a striking road sculpture in the middle of an Encino strip mall. We did not stage the extension of the middle finger – it apparently ended up that way after hundreds of drive-overs and thousands of pounds of crushing pressure from speeding SUVs.
One of the true tests of whether something is “successful” art is its ability to engage. The abandoned glove had us speculating over lunch for an hour. Did my husband really just point-and shoot? Or did he “arrange” the piece in a bogus bird-flipping position? If he did just “capture” the art as it was – how did the glove land smack in the middle of a perfect light source? The answers are simple: it was a glorious happy accident.
Sometimes, while waiting on line somewhere, I’ll fixate on something mundane – like my cleaners’ neglected storefront window. (Pic #3) Weathered and cracked, its sign “Murre” has become unreadable. But it manages to give us something else: a stunning abstraction in emerald and grey.
I encourage you to look around your world and find the beauty – no matter how ordinary your path. Those little visual treats are just waiting for us to notice.