While most artists, myself included, like the idea of their art living on, there are those who gladly accept – even welcome – the impermanent nature of their art. A few who come quickly to mind are Andrew Goldsworthy, Andres Amador, face painters, food sculptors and Tibetan sand mandala makers.
Boston had its own artist of impermanence in Bob Guillemin, known as “Sidewalk Sam,” who passed away yesterday at age 75 in his home in Newton (a suburb of Boston). He is remembered today in a Boston Globe story that tells of his first seeing sidewalk chalk artists as a student in Paris. In a 1980 Globe interview, he explained his desire to make art accessible to the general public:
“People tend to think of art as august, quiet, elevated, always in somber museum settings,” he told the Globe in 1980. Mr. Guillemin removed art from its reverential perch, never to be touched, and placed it under the toes of passersby. “I believe art should be pedestrian,” he added with a smile.
Read about the life of artist Bob Guillemin in the Boston Globe’s Sidewalk Sam Dies; He Turned Streets of Boston Into His Canvas.