71 / The art hook
What if we’ve reached Peak Creativity?
What if this is a good as we get?
What if in the future you could wear a glove that enabled you to draw or think like any of the great Masters that have gone before us?
The man stands in front of the image. Oil on canvas, no on masha board. A hybrid of recyclables. I can paint on newspaper, I could not care, he thinks. Though the existence of newspapers is a complete fabrication.
His work, the work he is about create will be an image, in space, in dimension, in time. This will be beauty floating. Anchored. Ephemeral yet permanent purely because I created it meaning this can never cease to exist. It will remain poignant. Relevant. Arrogant. Like me. He smirks.
His process will find him of it and yet deep in it. Of it, in it. Painting redefined. Simply. Complex. Movement conveyed in a sweep. A firm, deep sweep. A high, flowing flourish. The image he makes is great. This morning he is on a roll, he will make this one, then another. And another.
Now, in the next studio stable next to his, he hears it, the gentle morning whirr signalling the mixing of pigment. A hand driven blender. A powered up mixing stick, adding white to lessen lurid brights. In the next stable is his nemesis, another Master. Another Master, what an insult, he thinks.
The Master stands, lights a cigarette. Smoking remains a human delight that tabs of nicotine, while functional, do not placate his need for ritual - the selection, the spark, the urgency and drag his body makes as he pulls smoke. This is a feeling that remains sensual and his. And while he smokes, he might be looking at his own work, sinking into its weave and hue, but his attention is on the man in the next studio - for that is all he is, that is all he will allow him to be - a being with a penis who wakes and pisses and shits, like the rest. Not a Master.
And as he smokes and listens, his upper lip twitches, curls into a sneer, not out of anger or churl but disgust for himself. He is crushed and angered not to be first and he despise this new feeling of waking, to work, not as leader but as a follower.
And now here is the girl.
She's arrives, in a silver sheath, her eyes averted. He is sure this is because she'd prefer to be next door, not working here with him. She sits on the central plinth. He offers her a cigarette, which just like yesterday she declines. In this moment he wants to strike her, to slap that perfect face from here to kingdom come. Kingdom come. Kingdom come. The afterlife. Death. But even that has been legislated away. The concept of next world has been removed there is only the eternal here.
The girl. The whir. And then there is pigment. He gazes down at his pigment.
That they can not take. The act of creation, the process, they can not build it. If they could they would, but they can’t! They can not get inside here, he taps his forehead, can they child. He says this to the girl.
Now to himself, give yourself time to think man. Time to respond, to place yourself ahead, out there once again, alone. Alone that is where you need to be. Alone is where you are great.
Now the man walks across the studio. Strides across the tiles. He has seen all he needs to see. Hello he shouts to the stable next door. Does anyone wish to take my money? He pulls from his pocket a notebook and the stub of a squared pencil, he scrawls the details of a ship from his imagination. A ship he once saw on a sea, when he was a boy. He shouts. A banker comes running.
He writes the names of the three painting will make. He tosses it the black swing door, over the edge of his studio stable. He does hand it over. He tosses it. And as he does he drops ash, he tosses the paper. Picasso time traveller, lets out a loud frustrated boorish roar.
Now, he tells her, now we make art.