As I run around the family store during a town-wide street fair, Johnny, our Southwest Bureau Chief, sends this report, disguised as a plea for assistance:
I don’t know much about history. I don’t know much trigonometry, starting with for example what it even is. And I’ll tell you another thing I don’t know. I do not know nor can I begin to understand why in this day and age you can open up an art magazine and see that an art critic, like my brother, has written about a painter, like my other brother, who has made a painting of some pieces of fruit. I understand that in past centuries it was a mark of class, a status symbol, to own paintings, and an equal if not superior mark of sophistication to be able to afford art lessons for your kids and to display their paintings of pieces of fruit on the wall the same way we stick them with magnets onto the refrigerator today. But it’s two thousand eight. Two thousand and eight years since those guys killed that other guy. Who, I ask you, in this day and age, goes to art school, graduates, moves out of their dorm and gets an apartment, buys a bed, sleeps in it, then wakes up in the morning, brushes their teeth, possibly even with Rembrandt, the famous Dutch toothpaste, goes to the art store, buys a canvas and some paints and a brush, goes home and opens up the fridge and takes out some pieces of fruit and arranges them on the table and says yeah. There are many beautiful landscapes and cityscapes out there. There are many beautiful people and some lovely animals too. There’s a world full of things I can choose to paint that will allow me to reach out and try to capture in my own small way the beauty and the grandeur of creation, the humming current of life, of love, of holiness that surges through the natural world. Furthermore, it being two thousand eight and our having abstract art now, I’m not even confined to expressing that beauty by painting images of things that actually exist. But what I’m going to choose, what I’m going to decide is going to be a really meaningful and significant experience for me to paint and for other people to subsequently look at, is this small pile of pieces of fucking fruit. Someone explain to me, please, who are these people? Somebody help me understand!
P.S. By the same token, some people look at a dog and see not a worthy subject for a portrait but an as yet uncooked entree.