Associate professor discovers art wherever he walks

Sometimes you can find art among the mundane things we ignore every day — a smudge on the ground, a crack on a wall, or an oil stain on concrete.

M.O. Thirunarayanan spent the past year cataloging the random pieces of art he discovered during campus walks or on trips to other cities. An associate professor of learning technologies in the School of Education and Human Development, Thirunarayanan is exhibiting his latest collection, “Art That People Step On,” this month in the Graham Center Art Gallery and in the Hubert Library at the Biscayne Bay Campus.

“For me, it started in a different way,” Thirunarayanan said.  “I was looking for symbols of Om – the sound of all creation – in the Hindu religion and I found some cracks in the sidewalk that resembled Om if you used your imagination. The more I kept looking, the more I saw birds, fish, and people. And I started taking pictures.”

Among Thirunarayanan’s favorites are ones he discovered out west.

During a trip to visit family in Artesia, Calif., he found himself drawn to a pattern of oil that seeped into a concrete parking lot.

Upon returning to his cousin’s family home, she warned him to keep an eye out for a hummingbird fluttering near the front door. As he got closer, the bird flew away, back to its nearby nest. Once Thirunarayanan started looking through the pictures he had taken, he noticed the oil stain resembled the bird.

In Las Vegas, he found a smudge that resembled a tiny human hand that looked as if it was trying to dig itself out the concrete sidewalk. Fitting, Thirunarayanan thought, considering he was in the town that is home to The Mob Museum.

IDoes this look like a hand sticking out of a block of concrete?

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Sometimes you have to stop, look and find art wherever you are, Thirunarayanan said. He found another on campus somewhere between the Graham Center and the Green Library. Think you can find this flexing arm?

Muscle Man, or is it Muscle Woman?

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