My mom sent me an email today with a whole bunch of photos — all of them pictures of the charming and whimsical street art of David Zinn, an artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Not only are his works enchanting, they are temporary, composed entirely with chalk, charcoal and found objects (like sidewalk cracks and grates, brick work, leaves that have fallen on a street), which elevates both the work and the artist, in my eyes. Zinn’s choice to make them temporary shows a respect for property (public property is just as sacred as private property to me … no matter how talented, I don’t care for street artists or, worse, grafitti artists who leave their permanent mark on things that belong to others) and the very fact that the art has a short life (apart from them being captured in photographs) lends them a moment-in-time quality that is true to life. The truly captivating moments of life are fleeting and born of coincidence: we feel lucky we took the bus instead of the train, because we bumped into a certain someone special we otherwise would have missed, on the day they were getting ready to pack and move to another city. Though not as dramatic an example, I imagine the viewer who happens by one of David Zinn’s chalk drawings must feel a similar sense of luck, knowing that he is glimpsing something magical that won’t be there a week later.
For those, though, who wish to have a more permanent piece of art, they can purchase photographic prints of the artist’s work (the prices are very affordable) at his website, zinnart.com.