Art By Folks


I don’t know what this photo means. I don’t even know what this photo is. That’s not true. It’s a grate or vent, large, about hip height on a brick apartment building in my neighborhood, and it’s covered with small tiles, tied with twine. I’m compelled to photograph it every time I see it, which is sometimes more than once a day. I think other people must be compelled to take from it, because how else can you explain the bare patches. Sometimes I think I like folk art because I don’t understand real art. Or, not real art, but art by trained artists. Folk art is more approachable, right? It’s right there on the street. Your neighbor made it, or someone like your neighbor, or someone like you. And then I realize I don’t understand folk art, either. So I take a dozen poor photos and take it home so I can figure it out.

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