What comes first, the madness or the artist? This is the question I asked myself today as I wondered the streets of Wolverhampton looking for burst balloons. I found one. It was a good one. I picked it up. A women walking past me, gave me a very odd look.
Two weeks ago, before I became interested in balloons, I wondered the streets of Wolverhampton taking photos of lost things. Then I was also on the receiving end of a few strange looks (and one comment from a homeless man) as I bent down with my digital camera to snap a photo of a plastic pen or a loaf of bread.
This has lead me to wonder: what comes first? Madness or art? It is quite a common (mis)conception that the artist must be touched by madness in some way. Most assume that the madness comes before the artist, the madness leads to the art.
I’ve even pondered that myself here before. However, now I am wondering, how about the reverse? Could the obsessions of the artist lead to a form of madness? In my case, at the moment, the quest to find burst balloons and find beauty in them. My current fascination is with finding abandoned bits of balloon. I’ve found quite a few already. I’m collecting them together. I have quite a hoard now. It interests me that something of so little economic value, once inflated has a huge value to many and brings joy to people, but once the air has gone (something of no value as well), the remains are discarded. I’ve made a few drawings and paintings of burst remains to see if I can find beauty in them. Is this working? I’m not sure yet.
I’m worried, however, that I have become obsessed. I can’t go to town without looking at the ground. Even on my bike, my eyes are cast to the side looking for left-over balloons. I see a burst balloon, and I feel excitement in my stomach. I risk the strange looks. I must get that gem.
That is not normal.
In addition, I have also become obsessed with my new enemy. This is a picture of my nemesis. Can you see him?