Tuesday, September 23, 2008
An infinity of things
The surrealists saw strange shapes in clouds: they lay on their backs and stared up at the sky and called it research. Hamlet saw a cloud shaped like a camel, and thought it worth remarking upon; in his treatise on painting, Leonardo da Vinci suggested that artists should study not only clouds but stained walls, mud, and ashes from the fire, where they would find visual analogies for "landscapes with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and hills of all kinds. You will also see battles and figures with animated gestures and strange faces and costumes and an infinity of things."
The dinner plate also holds a hidden world of visual possibilities. Above is a photograph I took last night of a corn fritter, in which Beethoven's head can clearly be discerned. Or possibly it's Johnny Cash. I was in two minds about whether or not to eat it, but in the end, I did.