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“The Paradox of Art” – photo-art (spray painters unknown) by Dennis Mealor.

I have been walking past these “paintings” on the walkway of the Old Bridge (Bundaberg) for some weeks now. They are as a result of overspray by bridge  painters, on plywood masking. These boards were previously attached to the West side of the bridge, to avoid paint spray hitting passing cars.  The same boards are now installed on the East side of the bridge, complete with stencilled overspray “artworks.”

It has made me ponder (again) the concept of Art.  I was a tutor of Image & text at CQ University in Bundaberg campus some years back, and the definition of art was never a certainty. I defy anyone to nail it (no pun intended re. these pics).

So my dilemma: Did the tradespeople become artists when they created these etchings? Or can it be deemed art only in the context  of there being some consciousness of it being “art?”  These are maybe rhetorical questions, or not. Maybe I am now the artist, having taken the photos, and value added my art-speak  take on them. I must believe that there is  something in that, otherwise I would not have put “copyright” to Dennis Mealor on them. To add another layer to this art cake, if one of the tradespeople painters saw this blog, and then realised some artistic merit, could s/he then reinstate these inadvertent works as art, instead of just overspray while on the job? Oh god, my brain hurts.

All that said, I love these – they gave me a lift every time I walked past them. Will be sad to see them go when the bridge painting job is done (although it never ends really). The abstract is all around us, if we look.

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