I am the only color in a mass of black and grey.
Orange shirt, green trousers, mustard shoes with purple laces. A cigarette hangs from my lips, unlit. I have no intention of lighting it. My lungs deserve better. I am an image in the making. A loner artist on his way to stardom.
The black and grey mass revolves around me. I am the new sun, discovered days ago on a dirty street corner. Men in tuxedos, women in flowing gowns. They are here for me. I am the dazzling star of the evening.
My paintings hang on textured cream walls. The lighting subtle, but enough to reveal the outputs of my imagination.
That is what I draw. Some may say perverse, but the female form is anything but that. Meagre words cannot describe their elegance.
Therefore, my art is devoted to them.
Heads tilt, minds drift, eyes relish the bareness. Dramatic gasps, well-rehearsed observations, transmit a current of acceptance. I feel the tingling in my body. It powers me into believing I am the king of art, duly crowned by art aficionados.
Heavy perfume, cigarette smoke, hustled words, cackling laughter, the air is busy, there is too much going on.
I must have shaken a hundred hands already. Some smile, dropping a lone comment.
I gaze at my women. Their beauty stands unbeaten. On the street corner, they were simply trash, a more dignified form of porn. But here, they are goddesses, only meant to be worshipped.
Pablo, the gallery owner, has offered me food and lodging for a week-long stint. He says the naked women could save his drowning business.
I doubt it.
But I am a hungry scoundrel. So I pimped my goddesses for a seedy motel room and greasy cheeseburgers.
He laughs when he’s nervous. It’s uncontrollable. I’m Going To Die Laughing is the last thought in his mind.
Oh you took me for a ride there…. excellent!
Thanks Cassa! Artists or any other creative professionals have a tough time justifying their passions, exhibiting their work. They are often taken for rides themselves.
I had to stop to read this one multiple times over – each time I discovered a different side and angle to the story which I greatly enjoyed pondering upon. Here are my thoughts, maybe none of this was what you intended at all but this was my interpretation:
The thing that struck me the most was the idea that his art was rubbish when it was on the street, but now that it was being exhibited, it was worshipped. It’s often the case in real life that art such as graffiti like Banksy’s is frowned upon until critics start praising it or it’s placed in a museum setting. The focus sometimes is more on the setting and situation rather than the actual art itself. I saw this concept being emphasised in the story by the fact that the people observing the art were described more than the actual artwork – representing the fact that the focus was more on the setting and people rather than the art.
I also found it interesting that the people attending the exhibit were described mostly through their actions. Things like: their tilting and gasping, their dresses and suits, heavy perfume, cigarette smoke, hustling words, cackling laughter, their comments, their handshakes, etc. Throughout the entire story, we focus more on these external factors rather than focusing in on one particular guest – representing the idea that the artwork merely being visited by so many professional people is more important than the people themselves.
All of this linked back to the main motif of ‘pimping the goddesses’. He’s not actually changing the goddesses at all, he’s just changing their setting and where they are being displayed. The phrase ‘hungry scoundrel’ at the end has a somewhat negative connotation, emphasising the idea that he compromised his art’s integrity by ‘pimping’ them and letting the focus be more on the setting and the formal exhibit rather than the artwork, so that he could receive lodging for a week. And I have to point out that your planet metaphor and clever imagery with the colours simply melted on my tongue as I was reading this out loud to myself – beautiful words.
Sorry for the long comment, I allowed myself to get a little carried away in the artistry of this one. I just really enjoy your writing and I felt like taking a closer look at how you used stylistic devices to build such deep meaning into a short story. I hope you don’t mind 🙂
First of all, I’m going to thank you countless times for the time and effort you’ve put into this comment. It’s really very precious.
Now, I’m going to say that your creative perceptions and instincts are highly evolved, inherent talent sparkles in your words. You’ve taken the story and dissected it brilliantly.
You’ve captured all the finer points and translated them wonderfully. It’s a starving artist’s dilemma that finds him at the center of such lavish life and high society.
Painting is his passion, and the women in the paintings amount to goddesses for him. And no one but him can understand their importance or value. The visitors to the exhibit are there for the art, but mostly for the high-life socializing. The artist knows that no one will ever revere his art like he does, but a hungry stomach needs to have its fill.
And it’s sad that now this artist – the center of attraction – will probably return to the streets with his art, and no one will give either a second glance.
You have made my day with your beautiful words and analysis. It’s such a treat to write when you can hold the heart and mind of the reader.
Thank you. Thank you, Thank you. 🙂
You’re welcome, I really did enjoy the story. Work like this deserves to be appreciated and pondered upon. I come from a family of writers: two of my older sisters studied English Literature at the same university – one is a journalist, and the other works in publishing, both are currently working on writing novels. While I’m a bit more of the ‘odd one out’ for focusing more on art rather than writing, reading and poetry are still my passions and will always be close to my heart.
I’m so glad to hear that. What a creative family! Your passion shows brilliantly. 🙂
The most intriguing facets of female attraction and you can say wiles too. Fantastic write. Terveen.
So true, Shobana. Thank you so much! 🙂
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