Weekly Photo Challenge: Found Art

I was out photographing yesterday and realized that I was finding art everywhere. Sometimes, it was art that was meant to be art and sometimes it was art only because I was seeing it as art. This week’s theme is to….

Photograph Found Art

You can take this idea of photographing “Found Art” in a couple of different directions.

One way to approach the theme is to go out looking to photograph the art of others: murals, sculptures, that sort of thing. Public spaces often have art of some sort that because of familiarity, we can overlook. This week stop and really look at the art that you walk by every day.

I took this on a photo walk. Photographer and Miles Davis battle it out in Alton, Illinois.

Photographing the art of others is tricky. We want to represent the art, but not just represent the art. Look for an angle or get in close to make a unique photograph – a photo that says “I’ve never seen that statue that way before”. A while back, I published a quick tip on how to photograph the art of others and followed that up with another post on photographing in a museum.

Photo A Bit of Florentine Art
A Bit of Florentine Art framed in a doorway at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

Found art can include architectural details – old buildings especially have art worked into the design – and graffiti which is an art form all its own.  

Artistic Graffiti and; Bike
The color and graphics of this image make it one of my favorites and set the tone for my limited edition collection. I feel it shows what I love in a photo – color, texture and just a hint of travel in the artistic Florence graffiti.

But there is art to be found in many other places not just in what we classically think of as art. As the saying goes “One mans trash is another mans treasure.” I suppose the opposite also applies in this sculpture made entirely of old shoes. 

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Photo The Dog Ate My Shoes
The Dog Ate My Shoes. Detail of a larger piece of art found in the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas.

“Found art” is often created from bits and pieces from found objects. For a photographer, anything that looks like art – is art. Look for art in patterns and design even if they weren’t intended as “art”.

I have an entire series of photos that I call “splatter art” which are macro photos of a piece of metal that the local art school uses as part of the encaustic painting process.  Wax, metal, heat, & rust make this texture. These are macro photos of a fragment of a 2’x3′ sheet of metal used to extinguish the burning wax. The process creates random shapes and textures in a multitude of colors, though blue predominates. Some photos may look like maps or galaxies, others are more abstract. The use of the sheet of metal is practical, but I see it as art.

Art Blue Metal 58

My book Streets of India is available through Blurb as a hardback and as an e-book

The oxidization process creates patterns of its own which may to you look like art. Love that rust!

Art is where you find it. It’s up to you to define “art” this week and go out and find some!

For more photos, follow me on social media: Facebook,Instagram, Website, Flickr

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