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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ce N'est Pas Une Tomate


Is it a picture of a tomato on the kitchen counter or is it art? 

I'm not fishing for compliments. I'm trying to make a decision.

When does an object become representative of something else? Where does art happen? On the kitchen counter? In the camera? On the computer screen? In the eyes of the beholder?

And what does it have to do with Pasadena?

29 comments:

jb said...

When does an object become representative of something else? Where does art happen? On the kitchen counter? In the camera? On the computer screen? In the eyes of the beholder?
Answer: in the eyes of the interpreter

And what does it have to do with Pasadena?
117 E. Union Street

dive said...

Nice Magritte reference in the title, Petrea.
Yes, it's definitely art; not because it's a prettily lit tomato on a counter but because you have composed a view of it, captured that view and presented it to us.
It's a beautiful photo, and it's still art even after you've eaten the tomato.

Bellis said...

Dive and jb have said it much better than I could. It's art - and a tomato is tastier than a nude. I'm guessing it's the first of your crop?

Italo said...

It's difficult in the era to define what is art, if something is art or not. About your photos I could say: it's a beautiful photo.

frazgo said...

Art, great use of negative space with the splash of color. We'll call it countertop porn and get it over with. Nice shot!

Steven said...

It's a nude tomato. It becomes art when you turn it into a BLT sandwich. I'm guessing said nude tomato was grown in your garden.

Petrea Burchard said...

I love all your comments! Yet I'm so embarrassed.
It's not because the tomato was not grown in my garden.
It's not because we're talking about porn, and nudes (and tasty ones at that), all of which makes me blush.

It's because JB knows more about Pasadena than I do, and he lives in Germany.

http://www.tomato-inc.com/

Linda Dove said...

What peaches and what penumbras! http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15306

Petrea Burchard said...

Fantastic link, Linda. I read it three times. It had me looking things up--biographies, history.

Trish said...

countertop porn! well, there ya go! Love it!

I have to side and vote on art. You composed the shot--even if you just happened upon it, as many of my shots have been---and posted it here.

I have to admit, a delicious home grown tomato, properly prepared can be more sensuous than any porn and a good portion of what some people purport to be "art".

Ok, now you've got me drooling at the thought of a good tomato, I'm off in search of something palatable for lunch (no tomatos are even close to picking in our neck of the woods what with our crazy weather this year). And thanks for the giggle over countertop porn! :-)

Susan Campisi said...

What a great Ginsburg poem.

"What price bananas? Are you my Angel?"

Would've been a good comment for Zen Monday. I'm fighting the urge to look things up.

pasadenapio said...

Art!

It may not be a De Heem but it's a still life nonetheless.

Petrea Burchard said...

I need to grow some, Trish. I've tried and failed a couple of times, but I can try again.

Susan refers to Linda's link. It's great. Looking things up can take up your whole day, though.

Lovely stuff, Ann! The Norton Simon has a few striking still-lifes, too.

Ms M said...

I say it's art because you chose to focus on it, composed a photo with it, and we all get to see it through your eyes. I like this shot very much. :-)
On tomatoes: I've not had good luck growing them either. The plants are strong, healthy and green, but the little yellow flowers fall off and never produce tomatoes. :(

Tash said...

I know, right? (That's how my friend's 12 year-old daughter talks.) Aren't those exactly the questions that come to mind once you decide to create art?
I can say that I like the photo very much esp the dark perfect shadow of the tomato...maybe a out-of-focus tomato would really flip it more onto an art piece side -- isn't there something very unexpected that happens in art photos? Just thinking out loud. As for Pasadena connection -- you are there, the tomato is there, Pasadena is there...

John Sandel said...

I'll say it: art has no meaning.

Keith said...

I think John is right. I asked several artists to define what makes something "Art". I never got a good, much less consistent, answer.

I like the shot, that's good enough for me.

John Sandel said...

When I was in college & used to go to bars, Id take a pen with me. In the men's rooms, about the urinals, I'd write What is realty?

Urinating men (I assume) would answer:

"it's totally what you think it is."

"your thoughts, your entire being …"

"Realty is the whole universe and everything in it. It's everything."

(etc)

The best was: Orange pekoe.

Petrea Burchard said...

I had a fantastic week's worth of acting classes with Fiona Shaw when I took a summer course at Oxford. One of the most exciting things I learned from her (and there were many) was that the play (the art) happens not on the stage and not in the audience, but somewhere in between, where the twain meet. That's where the meaning is, if there is any, and it varies from individual to individual.

The urinating man who said, "Realty is the whole universe and everything in it," wasn't far off.

Petrea Burchard said...

I know, right?

Laurie said...

A tomato, its shadow and a countertop are not necessarily art unless an artist -- like you -- arranges them into something that makes all of us go "Ahhhhh!"

Also, I am now going to answer Orange Pekoe to all esoteric questions.

Petrea Burchard said...

You'll be highly thought of, Laurie. Beatniks will snap at you and call you "cool."

I'm rarely asked esoteric questions, but if I get one I'm going to sigh and say, "Art has no meaning." I want those beatniks to call me "daddy-o."

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

Pretty sexy.

Miss Havisham said...

Oh dear! The squadilles unlashed? No typing for me.

Birdman said...

Who cares! I like it.

Shell Sherree said...

It is beautiful art. {I still can't see your Friday post. Hello for Friday...}

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't know what a squadille is but I think I dreamed about one. It woke me up at 4:30 a.m., when I finally remembered to put up Friday's post.

Steven said...

Another take on the photo. It looks as though the tomato is about to roll into a black hole in outerspace. Hell yes it is art.

TheChieftess said...

Wherever the artist begins...