In some of the most unlikely spaces around Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston, the spray painted words "Not Art" have been popping up on everything from construction signs, to statues, to abandoned pieces of property, to tree stumps and sidewalks.
It's something the Somerville-based conceptual artist behind the project said is supposed to challenge the idea of what art and beauty is.
"I wanted to draw attention to what was already there in our urban landscape," the artist, who wished to remain anonymous, told Under the Radar host Callie Crossley during a recent interview. "Is it art? Is it not art? Is it something completely different? I try to draw attention to things I already find to be beautiful, sort of in their own right."
The artist said he created the concept as something to be shared. He's been able to follow peoples' reaction to the project on Instagram and other social media using the hashtag #notart.
He hopes to challenge peoples' ideas about what it takes to make something art.
"Do you have to move it? Or do you have to bring it into a gallery? Or maybe you just have to see it and witness it as art," he said. "We're so sick of seeing Picassos sell for millions of dollars just because they say Picasso. You know, people aren't looking at the art any more, they're looking at the signature. And "Not Art" in itself is a signature."