Friday, March 07, 2014

Unintentional Art


I've been photographing this part of Albuquerque for a number of years, and have several notable images of this same building, taken at different angles and at different times. The Nob Hill District is an up-scale shopping and dining area that, because of the elevated real estate prices, makes it difficult for small boutique shops to remain profitable and in business.

As such, the turnover can be quite high. One week I'll return after a hiatus and find some shop is closed up, white butcher paper covering its windows, with another shop soon to fill its empty shoes.

Behind the fancy facade of boutique shops is the darker side, the service entrances accessed via alleys.

I love alleyways, which I've written about previously. My more suburban neighborhood is devoid of alleys, but I have fond memories spent on weekends at my grandparents' house, where the alley behind their house was a constant source of entertainment for energetic young boys.

Photographically, alleys possess a special allure for me, for they represent interstitials between public and private, serving also to divide neighborhoods and properties while offering access for services.

In parts of town like Nob Hill and the University District to the west, alleys also become natural accessways for foot traffic, which presents opportunity to find public art as well as the detritus of the homeless, piles of clothes or shopping carts ladden with someone's personal effects. Sometimes it becomes difficult to tell the difference.

There is intentional public art, like graffiti and stencil art that have become popular memes in the last few decades, especially around the University District with its surplus of young, restless people out and about, but there's also unintentional art.

I was walking this alleyway in Nob Hill one recent winter's morning, camera in hand, and came across this window that I've seen so many times before, having also photographed it repeatedly from the other side. But this view resembled to me an abstract painting, given the white stucco wall surrounding the frame-like border.

The only giveaway that this might be a window instead of a painting comes from the security company sticker afixed to the window's lower left corner.

Unintentional or not, I enjoyed finding this window and its reflection as an artistic inspiration, and intend to keep an eye (or both eyes) keenly looking for more. Perhaps art is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

Post-Script: Photo via Fujifilm X10.


Blogger Bill M said...

The window looks like a painting on a wall.

Alleys are fun and it is good you live where you can safely walk them. Where I live we have none/ Where I was a boy we had plenty and played in them all the time.

I've always enjoyed photographing all the unusual places in old town Albuquerque, the ones most visitors ignore.

4:21 PM  

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