Using what you have

Posted: March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Saturday afternoon the sun was shinning down on the street while I walked through Times Square and noticed a crowd of people stopped. the crowd was watching something. I made myself into one of the watchers in the crowd blended as best I could and then I got a glimpse of what was going on. The crowd (and now I) were  watching something really pretty amazing. Earlier in the day I had visited the Guggenheim museum and there was an amazing exhibit in the rotunda of the museum. The name of the exhibit is “Choices” and it is a a collection of sculptures created by John Chamberlain. “Choices” is unique because each sculpture is made from materials used in automobile manufacturing.

Now to answer your question, no the crowd in Times Square wasn’t watching John Chamberlain twist and bend steel and fiberglass we were watching a street performer making music. What made this performer unique was not just the sound he made but the instruments he used to make it. The performer was sitting, on  top of, a turned over,ten gallon bucket and, armed with a drumstick in each hand he beat on 3, turned over, ten gallon buckets a   cookie sheet, a frying pan and pot used to boil pasta in. He looked like me and my sisters in our moms kitchen just before she broke up the band, by comandeering our instruments so that we could eat. The main difference between the two bands, besides the obvious lack of three girls and the huge age gap, was that he sounded good. Me and my sisters could have been working for Tylenol, with the racket we made. This guy was good.

I got to thinking about the two art forms I had seen Saturday one in a museum and the other on one of the busiest streets and America and how despite two different venues the fact remained that these two artist performed some pretty amazing stuff with some otherwise mundane materials. At work sometimes, I hear people and I catch myself complaining  about a lack of “the proper tools and or bad working conditions”. I plan on this week, when I feel the urge to complain, imagining myself in the museum or on the street corner  (maybe I could use a different phrase there.. na it’s funny).  

The thing is a great artist or skilled craftsman will never blame his tools for his poor workmanship. So if we are aspiring for greatness why should we?






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