The Aesthete & the Amateur part 1: Revenge versus Sacrifice
by Eleanor Medier, Publisher, Sim Street Journal
(An ongoing series (view the previous episode) of a fictitious couple, art critic Eleanor Medier, and husband amateur, Heavy Writer, debate in Issue#5. They rarely agree, but their opinions illuminate what many viewers experience.)
It seems like forever when only being gone a week. The art conference in Australia, reviewing the soon-to-close Reflections show was thrilling. I admit that the carousel was my favorite, and, I had participated in the pre-judging. I wish to acknowledge one piece that didn’t make it in the show. My mind returns again and again to this image.
Jet lag comes home with me, and I am looking forward to a loving ‘I-missed-you-terribly’ husband. Yet, I must be ready for the unexpected with him. He reminds me of the child who is too-quiet in the next room. When not watching, who can ever guess what mischief he may find? This time I am especially cautious, since I crashed up two of his precious classic cars. He’s been a little too nice about it. He can easily be soothing and say “Its okay, just don’t do it again” while he is really saying “just wait until you see what ‘lesson’ I have planned for you!”
The house is quiet when my cab from the airport drops me and my luggage off, with no one to help me drag it inside. No Heavy—must be at his garage. Sometimes I think I should install a cot over there so he can work on his corvettes and mustangs and whatevers without any interruptions! But then I would never see him. And I don’t see him now.
Exhausted from traveling in the air for over a day, it is really great to be home. I have so missed teaching Heavy how to look at art. Although his innocent eyes are refreshing, in a society of visual expression, he needs to know what he is looking at. Because we both agree that great art makes us think, changes us somehow, affects us on both emotional and mental levels, he has potential.
Kicking off my high heels, I pad up and down the stairs, emptying essentials from my luggage to organize. The stairs go right by the living room. Heavy may not be here, but I smell that garage odor in the house. Wondering if he threw oil-soaked overalls in the laundry bin, I venture down to the laundry room, a place I avoid under all other circumstances. This is Heavy’s territory. While I support the household as an art critic, he takes care of the house, fixes things, and yes, does laundry. He’s also a great chef, happy to say!
I open the laundry room door [confession: this is really fake. We don’t have to do laundry in SL, which is one big thing the real Eleanor doesn’t miss!], no smell. The smell is in the living room. This can’t be good. I stop in the middle of the room and look around. What can smell like the garage in here? And then I see it.
The black puddle on the floor gave it away even before the image, probably because the colors match so well. There, hanging on the wall, with slow black drips coming from the bottom, is a parody of the Albers that should be hanging there. Heavy’s joke. He claims that he can paint these “Homage to the Square” images as well as the master, so I dared him to try. Ok, he tried. But he used motor oil for his black paint, and gravity takes its toll.
Very funny. Not a nice mess—but he will clean it up. Where is the Albers? The other three in our collection are untouched. So, after a good laugh, Heavy can replace the real one. Closing the bedroom door as I sleep will keep the motor smell away.
A few hours later, I hear the racket of Heavy arriving downstairs. Slipping out of bed and into my robe, I am so excited to see him, I forget all about his practical joke! The greeting I receive is to my satisfaction, and I admit to a smile on my face. He certainly knows how to charm! But, back to the Albers, which is the reason this story progresses—because if I were to freeze time, it would be in that moment—before I discover the fate of my beloved painting. How quickly a mood can go from ecstasy to rage!!!
Now I have received the punishment for my joy ride that crashed his beloved cars. Not only did he make a joke of the painting, he sold the Albers to pay for his car repairs, garage restoration, and a fishing trip, now planned. Heavy can never lie. He has no guile. Out comes the entire story, sparing no details, including his clandestine meeting with the gallery dealer, whom will wisely remain unnamed. He was a gentleman to her advances, as I always trust him to be. However, she got the painting.
And he got less than I paid for it. To say I am angry is an understatement. It is a cold, calculating anger that boils like an underground lava lake while the dormant volcano above gives no hints to the future eruption. This is war. I had the perfect four Albers in a group, and now one is gone. It is like a missing tooth. This practical joke has now turned into an insult, but I will grin and bear it. And use his own tactics against him. So I laugh, and I don’t react. He gets no satisfaction beyond the money!
In the meantime, we must get dressed and go see some gallery exhibits of well known names that keep popping up around the grid. I have to demonstrate my sweet patience while we debate the virtues/faults of each show. I choose three artists to dissect and debate here all that collage photographic images in unique ways. Although
I select the places that we visit, I try not to harness Heavy, but present him with a variety and then observe his response. We visit the Twitlight Gallery’s show of nine artists and Rose Galleries’ newest exhibits.
Determined to be adult about my Albers-anger, we have inspiring discussions, while I plot my revenge. I am gaining ground in my quest to enlighten his eyes!
Perhaps it is his sport to shock me, or maybe it is just his more competitive nature (or mine). But I never expected such creative revenge. This stunt will be hard to beat.
Editor’s note—As Eleanor and Heavy run off to critique several artists, it is important to note a fundamental difference between two forms. Most 2D artists create works in real life and import them as “textures” into the virtual world, then size and adapt. The 3D artist generally creates works that can’t exist—or would take years and years to build—in real life. Because this magazine is about relevance, the argument can be made that the 2D work bridges the two worlds better. But what counts as much as the idea itself is the execution of it. Integrity of medium adds strength and significance to a work, it adds distinction and impact. So the argument can work the other way by saying the 3D work has more relevance because it uses the medium where it is presented more. One factor that bridges these two extremes of creation is movement that can enhance the 2D work to another level not as possible in the real. All artists present issues of media integrity. However, Eleanor and Heavy exist within the virtual world and can’t make these distinctions as well as those looking in.
[Part 2—the story continues with the reviews, starting with Fran Benoir at Twilight Gallery]
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© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.