Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The finest piece of art I've ever seen

Coincidentally, my visit to Sao Paulo happened at the same time as the city's biennial modern art exhibition. 

For three months, the show fills a giant expo center at the city's largest park. It is so full of stuff that one would need three or four days to get a good sense of it. My friend and I opted for one of the tours that starts every thirty minutes.

Between an exhibit of a guy who took a picture of himself every hour for an entire year, a display of mattresses and sounds from one of Sao Paulo's orphanages, and an exhibit where a guy took a Polaroid of his own bowel movement was the single greatest piece of art I have ever seen.

A photographer stood on a street corner in Shanghai on Oct. 1, 2005 between 10:50 and 12:30 and took pictures of people walking down the street with their shirts rolled up. He then put those pictures in a frame and produced magic. 

You could walk down any street on the Ecuadorian coast between 4:00 and 4:15 and do the same thing. The challenge would actually be to find enough guys who still have their shirts on. 

He included that frame in a display of hundreds of frames and submitted it to the Bienal Art Show. Each one of the frames says where the photographer was and what time of day. There is a common theme in each frame. 

 This was shot in New York in the span of an hour and half.
This was shot in Amsterdam in the span of two hours.
This was shot in New York in the span of two hours.

Maybe I exaggerated a bit on the greatness of the rolled-up shirt photo. It's difficult for me to think of all the art I've ever seen. So I'll be cautious on this one and place the photo in the top ten.

No comments: