Building Up.

When I saw this graffiti decorating the wall along a stairwell I thought, wow, sometimes art and architecture really go hand-in-hand. And then I thought that was a pretty stupid thought because architecture is an art form–even the dullest, plainest building is thoughtfully designed. Any aesthetic enhancement is just icing on the cake. And what is cake without icing? Well, it’s still cake, but really wouldn’t you rather have cake with icing? Or you can have icing without cake, if that’s your thing, although I find that eating just icing gets old really fast. And don’t get me started on the question of whether it’s icing or frosting and what the difference is between the two. Whatever you put on your cake it’s usually served at room temperature so associating it with either ice or frost is kind of ridiculous, but that’s another story.

Anyway considering the confluence of art and architecture reminded me of the saying, “Writing about painting is like dancing about architecture.” There are a lot of variations on that saying which can be traced back at least as far as 1918, although more recently Elvis Costello said, “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture—it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” With all due respect to Mr. Costello I’d really like to see some dancing about architecture.

Sometimes, though, I think it’s best to just step back and let a work of art speak for itself. A picture may be worth a thousand words but a thousand words don’t necessarily add up to a picture. That’s frustrating to me as a critic, even an amateur one, but sometimes all I can really do is just say, hey, that’s pretty amazing, ain’t it?

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  1. Tom

    Mrs C and I just watched “Playing by Heart” again this week (one of her all-time favorite movies), in which Angelina Jolie tells Ryan Phillipe “Talking about love is like dancing about architecture.” Inspired by that I responded to a poem this week (Bojana’s) by saying “Talking about poetry is like dancing about architecture.” And then this, from you. It’s amazing how things run together. Happy Sunday, Chris. Have some frosting on ice.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Somehow I’ve never heard of “Playing By Heart”, or, if I’ve heard of it, I’ve never seen it, but I trust Mrs. C’s taste, and I know Bojana is very smart and creative so I’ll consider being part of such company frosting on the cake.

  2. Ann Koplow

    Hey, that’s pretty amazing, Chris.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Hey, it’s amazing how many brilliant comments you write.


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