Ever stood, frozen in your tracks, beholding a sight enchanting you in ways that seems to make time stand still? Ever questioned who gets to decide what we call beautiful? Ever question how we decide what gets the label "art"? Wonder why some creations never get a second glance and others are protected by multi million dollar insurance policies? These kind of questions swirl in my head on a regular basis.
This humble potato above is making a splash in the art world as it has just sold, purportedly, for $1 million. The deal was brokered by Kevin Abosh, a world renowned photographer and a European businessman having dinner together in Abosh's home. The businessman noted how much he liked the photograph after two glasses of wine...after 4 glasses he noted that he had to have the potato art. Two weeks later, Abosh and the unidentified man agreed on the $1 million price tag. Skeptics question the validity of the claim since the buyer is unidentified, regardless, I am intrigued. Not so much by the million dollar price tag, but more so by the simple beauty of this potato as seen through the eyes of a creative who has surely photographed hundreds of thousands of images and yet chose this piece for his walls. What made him decide this was the one he wanted to admire while he feasted? I'm intrigued that another person identified with his vision, to the tune of $1 million. Humans are certainly an unpredictable bunch!
A comment someone made to me years ago, lodged in my brain and hasn't let go-- 'I swear, you could make a dirty sock something beautiful I want to look at.' That made me ponder what it is in creatives that opens their eyes to see things that others miss. Next, how are some able to share their vision with others to help them see things they never have before.
Someone else told me, 'you never fail to find the beauty in each person.' Treasured words to me. I know for certain we are all given different gifts and when we thrive in that gift we are never more alive and radiant. Author and pastor, Erwin McManus, reasons that we are created by our Creator in love and in His image...He creates...so is it any wonder we feel compelled to create...to bring into reality that which exists only in our minds, to be beholden by the beauty that surrounds us?
I've seen the potato as art making its way into pop culture as seen in the portrait above. I've searched, but unfortunately I have not been able to identify who created this portrait. I've been intrigued by the inclusion of a potato necklace at the same time I was envisioning a portrait creation using shredded box material as the main medium. I saw a big pile of the material headed for recycling in a store recently and asked if I could have it. Course the stock person thought I was crazy, but as Cher said, 'Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great.'
I knew I was going to love the shredded box material dress & headware I was planning to create, but then I wondered how it would look to include potato adornment into my portrait as well. In steps my stylist, Jill Jackson, to help me create the potato adornment after she styled Emma's hair and make up to match the vision I shared with her. My brave JDP senior model Emma rose to the challenge. She was skeptical, but game. By odd coincidence it just so happened that her friends had given her a nickname recently centering around a spud...uncanny timing! And what a cool memory to cap off her senior year!
May these musings cause you to take pause, look up from your phone...put your phone down and breathe in the beauty all around you today. Then bring something into existence by the work of your hands that will make you feel alive...that was not until you created it!
Talk about timing...just saw this t-shirt for sale.. ;)