In the local mall I frequent there is a former arcade next to the food court. Today I found it was a temporary gallery, filled with cheap prints and the kind of paintings turned out by the assembly line starving artists. A big, badly painted sign proclaimed “Last Day. Going out of Business.”
The couple who ran the operation were a wiry and tired, authentic starving artists. The man showed off his wares with pride, even when they were mediocre landscapes and human subjects of only passable anatomy. There was one wall of his own work. It was a combination of primitive and impressionistic that would have earned me a beating in art school.
I smiled, and nodded, and made polite noises as he told me how he even took commissions. I wished him luck in his move to the state fair and went about my lunchtime perambulations.
The hip thing to do would be to scoff at the wannabee artist and his oblivious attempts at success. Since he looked to be my age, I would have guessed that he had been at it for three decades with no more to show for it than a month’s stint in a shopping mall at his own expenses. But in spite of the obstacles, he keeps on with no promise of success.
Come over to this wall where I have all my own stuff. I do commissions, too.