Art is everywhere you can find it

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Over the years, in visits to major museums and hole-in-the-wall art galleries, I've viewed all manner of modern art: canvases covered with apparently random blobs of paint, sculptures made from street junk, and installations that appear to be about nothing - or are they about everything?

The cumulative effect of seeing all these interpretations of life is that I've come to recognize art in unlikely places. I see worlds of beauty in common things.

My job as a photographer is to narrow down an unlimited selection of visual options into a coherent, graphic, storytelling rectangle -a photo. So I'm on the lookout for art everywhere.

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I was on assignment in Worcester, Mass., an industrial center west of Boston. Near a run-down factory, this barely functional "Beware of Dog" sign grabbed my attention. Years of wind and rain had worked their artistic alchemy.

Could an artist have created with oils and brushes the gradations of rusted reds? Could a sculptor have conceived the idea and then bent the metal rectangle, shaping a perfect funnel into which the sign's words dissolve into uselessness?

I doubt I could have seen the beauty in this rusting relic if brave artists and their imaginations had not opened my mind to a wider definition of art.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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