Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #171: Weird and Wonderful

 

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.

~Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney raises an interesting question. What is weird and who is weird, really? Artists like Van Gogh never sold a painting while he was alive because his style was so different from the established artistic norm at that time. Now of course, we consider him an artistic genius.

Creative people often push the boundaries of convention and tradition and can delight, surprise, and shock us. This first sculpture, exhibited during the annual Art Prize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is called “Wired.” This statue made out of circuitry and loose wires was also holding a giant cup of coffee in his hand. I love the social commentary here.

 

I couldn’t resist re-posting this comical skeleton sitting down to dinner wearing his top hat. He was on exhibit in Melborne, Australia in the National Gallery of Victoria.

Turning to nature, I was startled to see this vulture who posed for me on a visit to Florida. The poor bird. Its looks are….how should I say it….weirdly ugly. But in a strange way, this bird is so unique it’s wonderful, too.

Weird? Maybe. But wonderful, too. This metal sculpture is on permanent display at Meier Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a world-class art collection. This piece, comprised of 5 separate sculptures is called “Visitations: Majorette, Hand Stands, Gifts, A Slight Lapse of Purpose, Yea,” created by American artist Joseph Kinnebrew. I love the playful and whimsical mood of this piece.

This last sculpture, “Head with Horns,” was on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California. I love its startling weirdness. At the same time, it’s wonderful, too. This work has a weird history, too. It was wrongly attributed to Paul Gauguin for many decades, but recently, it was revealed that this isn’t the artist’s work. The sculptor is still unknown.

In closing, I’ll circle back to Paul McCartney, who questioned what and who are weird. Certainly, people who were once considered weird, like Van Gogh, Alfred Hitchcock, and Albert Einstein, have become over time cultural icons and recognized as geniuses in their respective fields. A special thanks to our wonderfully creative Ann-Christine who has challenged us this week to find photos that are both weird and wonderful. I had fun exploring my archives for things that surprised, delighted, and startled me with their uniquely weird qualities.

As for your “Street Art” collection last week, it was simply wonderful! I loved your discoveries from around the world and the questions you raised about the difference between street art and conventional art. Your unique and diverse finds were a real visual treat.

Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to stop by her site next Saturday at noon.

89 replies »

  1. Hi Patti, Excellent choices, a very nice mix. The first one, weird and wired, indeed!! It must take tremendous time to wire this statue. I’m glad you re-post the second image. I don’t recall seeing it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Amy. Thank you! It must have taken months to wire the statue. It’s true! Glad you like the skeleton, too. I had fun with this one! Thanks again and have a great week.

      Like

  2. Wonderful selection, Patti! And your quote is perfect! All great examples, but I must say I have an absolute favourite here – Wired. What a fantastic, weird and wonderful piece of art!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of art work is definitely weird. You found some great examples! I would however consider ‘Wired’ to be creative and intriguing. And if I was a vulture I’d probably find your one quite attractive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what they say about beauty…it’s in the eyes of the beholder! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€. I’m sure vultures find each other attractive….in their own way! Yes, I agree that “Wired” is more creative and wonderful than weird. Good point, Jude. Enjoy the week, too. I hope it’s wonderful and not weird!!

      Like

  4. Ok, these were all lots of fun but my favorite is the first one, both for its commentary on modern life but also for the fact the “Wired” is an anagram of “Weird” which works perfectly with the theme. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fascinating post! Love the quote and the direction it took you in determining what is and isn’t truly weird. Can’t help but mention my two favorite pieces of art you shared: the first and the last. Remarkable really. And your post layout was inviting as it balanced your copy and your art in its own artistic way (not weird at all)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Rusha. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. Many thanks and big smile. I like those pieces, too. The mystery of the sculptor was news to me. I just read about it as I was writing this. I thought it was Gauguin, but apparently not! Take care and enjoy the week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So interesting that the head of horns has an unknown artist ! Wonder how the experts determined all that and is so cool how folks track that stuff
    And enjoyed your weird and wonderful artsy approach this week

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is very interesting to discuss this matter. Many things are relative in our life. Sometimes, people attack a person for he is weak. They can’t attack strong people or describe them weird. on the other hand, some deeds come evil or connected to devil like the “statues with horns”. People are right to describe these deeds as “weird”. Nothing can clear the situation except a description of the reason behind the act. For example, the artist can indicate why the man has the horns! But, if the artist believes that he came with something we need to like, it would mean that he is belong to a dark weird world.

    Facts are the world for light and the world of darkness. If one came with something related to darkness and evil, then this person is weird. The rest of things are relatives and has no facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Patti

    As I mentioned in my earlier reply to your post, your Wired sculpture is an excellent choice. I had no idea that Grand Rapids has such a great museum and art scene!

    Looks like you escaped Vancouver before the huge hurricane-like storm this week. I will miss your B.C. photos.

    Your observation about VanGogh makes an excellent point. So sad that he couldn’t benefit from any of the riches his works have commanded posthumously. And yet I wonder. If any of his art met with commercial success during his lifetime, would the pieces that sold have influenced his other works? Would he have tried to create more in that same vein in order to sell even more? I sell my photos through a couple of small local venues. Every so often they send me a check. I try to NOT look up exactly which piece was sold because I don’t want to call into the trap of trying to commercialize the Herons. Not sure that makes sense?

    Anyway, here’s my take nbr 2 on the LAPC Weird and Wonderful challenge this week with a couple of weird and wonderful experiences at the lake:

    https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com/2021/10/26/beautiful-great-blue-herons-guest-humans/

    Best, Babsje

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Babsje. Great point about Van Gogh’s potential success influencing his later work. It’s a question with no answer, but it’s fascinating to conjecture. I can understand your fear of commercializing your work. The danger, I have seen, is to repeat what sells and getting trapped by public opinion. It is dangerous, I imagine. Take care and have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m wondering the same thing, too, Sarah. If it’s not Gauguin, who created it? A mystery. The art detectives discovered that the type of wood used in the statue was not from Tahiti…among other details. Fascinating! I’m delighted you liked my selection this week. I hope all’s well and you have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all I think the head with horns looks like a human Shreck. First thing the came to mind.

    Yes there is something quite majestic about vultures. Lucky that one liked you to give you a nod.

    My favorite…Wired. Amazing to see the talent and creativity of artists. A great collection Patti and an even greater read. I agreed it was a nice challenge. A fun one. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great question, isn’t it?? Who is really weird? I’ve been called weird, too, but I don’t care!! I’m happy I’m different! Thanks for your kind words about the photos, too, Ana. I hope all’s well with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m reading this on Halloween day, and so perfect for the day, Patti! Fab photos to highlight weird and wonderful! Can you imagine a world where everything was perfectly pretty? Thank goodness it isn’t. And thank goodness for the creative genius of artists!

    Liked by 1 person

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