The artless misdodger

Art* for knowone

Professionally I had a  graphic design business when, “pre computer”, the term “art” refered to everything & anything that would be exposed to the film which would be used to expose the printing plate. 

Computers have changed many technical elements of printing,  I retired 2016, and in my 25 years of experience since I got my first Mac II  even  later  when there was no film or printing plate, still “in the trade, ”  “art” referred to the materials used to composite the final visual for a specific printing job.

*Definition for this post: Art or art is specifically referring to a two dimensional visual experience. 


Often  in an inter-personal experience of viewing someone’s “snapshots” I will use the term “art”  as I would in the printing trade and their reaction may express that “These are their personal images, not to be seen as at the level of Art” suggesting that not all photographs are “Art.”

When I was young sometimes there would be discussions or essays about whether  photography was an Art or whether specific photographs were Art.

Mal Sharpe on the trombone.malSharpe2552_72ppi800px.jpg

“Art“ usually refers  to a combination of a level of technical expertise in the process, a level of artistic quality in the expression and a standard of subject matter.

One person may photograph a chair for an insurance record which may not meet this definition while another photographs  the afternoon light coming in through the window reflecting the curves of the chair expressing a human feeling.

San Franciscosf5845Det33%100C800.jpg

I saw in the news  last week, or perhaps the week before, that this Burger King was (finally, thank you ) shut down due to the unsanitary conditions. Its at the corners where you get off  BART  at Civic Center.  On the first floor looking out the window  in the hotel across  the street on the left is a Starbucks, often in the early morning  you can different languages of visitors from all over the world.

Is a photograph of a homeless person  “Art,”  is  being homeless in San Francisco or Los Angeles is a lot easier than being homeless in New York City, Boston or Cleveland, if only because of the weather or maybe its the food, or maybe its the bus ticket and a little cash from the   town fathers of a some  town in the midwest.

Where does a homeless person?


A photograph of an old house, maybe Art? who noes? Is it a visual record like a savings account of the experiences of those whoever lived in it, or a visual record of the how  of the outside world has altered its appearance? What is the Artist? who is the Art


San Jose Tofu

I lived on 11th Street, the first block just north of E. Santa Clara  in the two story white  apartment building, second floor right side, about 1982,  and would buy tofu at San Jose Tofu.  Even when we lived in Fremont,  I would drive down for the tofu and almost anytime I was in the area I would stop and buy. No one in the family took it over, they had to hire outside-the-family help and later close down.


Photo courtesy of—or maybe no courtesy of, I did not ask— Google.

Alameda Creek runs right bye my baby’s door,
Ain’ going down Highway 61 know more.


’cause  when you get to the stretch where the fence ends, the road begins . . .


Or you are politely requested not to enter and you see it as a choice.


Can I ask a photograph to show me who I am , or even who I was some moment in the past? Can you see the things I wish I had done in my life that I did not do,? the things that did in my life  I wish I had not done, ?  The things in my life of which I am proud of doing?

Green and red are complimentary colors and I use them to feel  complete,


To see my self, does a photograph have to more than line, color, texture, some feeling not\ matter how undefined, or does it need to be something  which we all commonly experience the same meaning?

If someone saw this image two hundred years from now and saw a photograph of the the Sales Force building  two hundred yours form now would they experience both images the same way,  perhaps as some visual record of the past?


Maybe they got home alright, or maybe they had a better offer, not bad lettering . . .


Dancing with the stars

I know its also the title of a TV program like I no Kardashians are people, I remember once I was with a woman who was ashamed of being scene with me because I was not a good dancer, then again, I never asked someone to think I was a good dancer but that is not true, in the 7th grade I was in Mrs Ship’s ballroom dancing class at the country club, but later it was never that important to me.

Dancing is encouraged  in Asakusa on a Sunday afternoon. A record of a moment  past or  a  predictonof the future.


Seto-Guro guinomi

Seto  (and neighbor Mino)  is an long time pottery producing area in Aichi Prefecture. Sometimes pottery in general may be referred to as “Seto Yaki, ”  yaki being “fired thing.” Guro means black , guinomi means sake  cup, and a seto-guro guinomi is a black sake driving cup from Seto.

There is an old  story which involved Sen no-Rikyu,  Toyotomi Hideyoshi, an order of seppuku  and a black chawan—I have seen reference to it being seto-guro, and I have a seto-guro chawan—but for all I know it may have been raku which is more commonly, though not exclusively, associated with chadō.



2 thoughts on “The artless misdodger

  1. Thanks for being a part of my Saturday morning! I always look forward to your mix of San Francisco, Alameda and Japan. Pottery and photography. Past and present. Once upon a time I worked at 45 Hyde, popping in and out of the Civic Center BART station. The work was interesting but the fact I worked in San Francisco and lived in Berkeley was a dream come true. Those two years remain as a highlight of 60 plus years of living, even though I have no regrets about any place else I’ve lived.


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