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Sunday, 10 February 2019

Spotlight: Shall we get garlic bread?

This month, Spotlight is the headlamp of a scooter.   
It is driving through town streets with a stack of pizzas in the back.  Those flat square boxes often look plain.  Yet sometimes they are as unexpected as anchovies and ground beef, as gripping as artichoke and gorgonzola.
What art do people put on pizza boxes?
I can be as creative as what people put on pizzas.  And as inspired, or as much of a belly flop.
Art is disposable.  Face it, if it’s still on the wall at home after 5 years, unless it is unavoidable view, it gets looked at for 3 hours or 20 minutes per year.  Which may be gratifying when we consider that the garlic bread gets as much attention as the pizza box.  Including if you didn’t get any garlic bread.
Something I love about pizza box art is that it nails home these truths about what we produce with any sense of viewership.  If your art is done for the love of painting or sketching then you are free from this spicy curse.  Enjoy the fun.
Another beauty of this format is its restriction.  8 inches or Twelve-and-a-half, or some other diameter-based inchy square.  In one ink tone, or two, or maybe 5 if the boxey guys have some budget and a lot of love.

In a couple of years a 360,442 colour palette will no doubt be available to every printing optimist.. But in the recent past, and the present, a restrictive food-safe hair-colour-range palette is what can be slapped onto cardboard.  It focuses the mind.  Like the painting scene being ‘oil on canvas’ or watercolour, or…  or something that doesn’t fit into those boxes.  Like public sculpture being bronze or stone.  Stuck in the Bronze Age or the Stone Age.  Haiku is not the only poetry.  It focuses the mind superbly.  “Fruit” is not the only way to treat an orange.
Money is funny.  In art, the frame is the bit that yields to production costs and the market.  The cost of the frame is pretty much the same.
The painting can be a gift to a friend, or sell for a thousand Euros. That same frame still cost the same. With a pizza, the box can be the art, while the art oil-n-cheese on canvas dough, and the price doesn’t range from zero to insane.
Art is food too, and the money is up to you.
Next time you get a pizza, don’t throw the box.  Grab some pens.  Get your paints out.  Have a laugh.  An edge-you-cational arts experiment.  
Then savour the garlic bread and sleep with a twelve inch smile.

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