Pet Peeves

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Art Talks

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

Art imitates life.  But what do the rest of us do not named Art?  So I asked Art, if I could come over to his place to discuss things. Art said, “Sorry I can’t see you.  “I said, “Oh, if it’s a bad time, pick a time that works.” Art sighed. “It’s not the time. It’s the place.  I’m homeless.  There’s nowhere to come over to.”  My place wasn’t an option either.  It is mortgaged and taxed to the hilt and I couldn’t get ahold of a bank or state representative to get approval for a near homeless guy and a bona fide homeless guy meeting on county land.

At Art’s advice, we met at the Laguna Art Museum where life’s meaning would be revealed to me.  With a sweeping ta-da gesture, Art welcomed me to the exhibition of artist Tony DeLap. There on the walls were roughly 80 paintings, three dimensional works and drawings. It’s an eye-popping display of 70 years of brilliance by an artist now a nonagenarian. Art asked,  “What’s your first impression?” I said, “I couldn’t afford any of it.”  Art humphed.  “Forget owning it.  Owning stuff is overrated.  You can possess it by understanding it.”  Art reiterated the Indy article, “Magic of Illusion Colors DeLap Retrospective.” “DeLap turned painting upside down and sideways.  He carved and constructed canvasses into sweeping shapes with edges appearing and disappearing.  Mini canvasses are mounted within larger ones.  Some canvasses cast single and multiple shadows that recall German shadow play where performers tell stories using hands to shape dark shadows on illuminated walls. DeLap considered the relationship of the painting to the wall symbiotic, hence the shadow.  DeLap is also about the edge.  The straight line is cut and shaped at crucial points exposing the armature, which gives it a three dimensional appearance.”

Whew. It was a lot to take in.  “It’s complicated,” I said.  Art smiled.  “Yes, life is messy. Take my homelessness. A new study shows that Orange County homelessness costs $51,587/person to provide basic services. This figure compares to $100,759 for the chronically homeless living on the streets and in emergency shelters.”  I was shocked at the sticker price difference.  “It’s a no-brainer,” I said. “We need to construct more housing immediately.”

Art patted my shoulder.  “Oh my. You are an art neophyte my new friend.  Remember in art as in life there are no straight lines, edges are shadowed, shadows can be played and there are pictures within pictures.” I shrugged. “I get the art.  But what does it have to do with life?”

Art smiled wide. “It’s my next lawsuit.  I’ll get off the waiting list for the homeless shelter and demand the $100,759 for staying on the street.  Will you join me in a class action suit?”  I did a little jig.  “By all means.  Count me in. It will be a raise for me.  Will we get pensions, too?”


Crantz tells the Indy that he looks forward to hanging out with Art in their new home away from home, Park Plaza.

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