By Paul Ingrassia
Jason cautiously stepped into the fancy art gallery. His shrink told him to get out more, soak up some culture. He hated opera, so he figured some stuffy art exhibit would be the next best thing.
Unsure of himself, Jason wandered aimlessly through the gallery halls. Statues, paintings, and dozens of other exhibits overwhelmed him. As he rounded a corner, he came upon a small group of people gathered around a painting, excitedly chattering and pointing. He decided to join them and see what the fuss was all about.
“Amazing! Utterly amazing,” a lady with a foreign accent said.
“He explores depths of perception like no other,” a tall man in a suit said.
“His title says it all: ‘Anger’,” a short lady in an expensive dress said. “The emotion in the piece is astounding.”
“Yes, yes. He truly is a master,” a thin man with thick glasses said.
“You know, ain’t it interesting how we all see things differently?” They turned to look at Jason. “You all say you see this and see that, but all I see is a big white piece of paper with a little red square in the middle. I just don’t get how that is anything but a little red square.”
“But the title, ‘Anger’, says it all,” the lady in the expensive dress said.
“Sorry, ma’am, but I still just see a little red square,” Jason said.
“Look deep into the painting, feel the emotion,” the man in the suit said.
“Well, mister, I still just don’t see it. I gotta question for you, though. If I painted a picture of a blue triangle and called it ‘Sad’, or a yellow circle and called it ‘Happy’, what would you think?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, he is a master!” the man in glasses said.
“Well, I’m sure someone told you that, or maybe you read it in some artsy book or something. Fact is, the man who painted that is just that, a man. Just ‘cause someone told you he is a master, hell, that doesn’t mean a thing. I bet if I did paint a yellow circle or a blue triangle, and someone told you I was a master, you would go all ga-ga over me,” Jason’s eyes lit up. “I gotta go.”
“What is wrong?” the foreign lady asked.
“Nothing. I just gave myself a great idea. You all are looking at the next master painter.” Jason rushed off.
The little group stood in silence for a few moments, just staring at the painting. One at a time, they walked off without a word.
Author's note: This one was rejected as a thinly veiled rant, hence the headline, but I think it's a fun story, so I hope you got a smile out of it. I really meant it as less of a rant and more of a statement of 'every day joe's' attitude towards the arts.