Is art garbage?

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Encroaching Shadows, Brooke Borcherding

Is garbage art? Voyeur curator Mo Bowen once told me, “Eugene’s art scene is a coffee shop art scene.” This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it sometimes results in art so boring that it might as well be wallpaper. Not so for this untitled piece by Brooke Borcherding at the Roma cafe, which dangled in my face the moment I sat down at the table next to it. The canvas is a mixed media piece incorporating old straws, plastic and other cast-off items. Is the subject a tree? An upside-down octopus? It’s hard to say. I’d mostly like to know whether the plastic wrap hanging inches from my nose was part of Borcherding’s vision. It’s an admirably in-your-face piece for “coffee shop art,” even if its quality is questionable.

BONUS: Borcherding responds to my “garbage art” label here, in the “Talk Back” section.

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