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Posted by Kudos Community

I was at the opening of new works by one of our local oil painters at
the South End Fine Art Gallery and Expresso Shoppe. As always it’s a
guaranteed large crowd, mostly us artists and a few of our friends and
occasionally a patron or two. Regina, the gallery owner and latte
barista, always provides liberal winepours and enough hors d’oeuvres to
hold back rickets among the starving artists another week or so.

I was admiring a fine piece titled, tantalizingly enough, “Sailboat at
Sunset #56”, one of a series I’m guessing of at least 56 or more, when a
couple jostled me out of the way for a better view. I didn’t really
mind moving on, after all, there were plenty more similar offerings, but
the gentleman of the pair had caused me to spill my merlot onto the
sleeve of my last presentable Goodwill shirt, then gave me a cursory
‘scuse me,’ that sounded vaguely like ‘sue me’ before steering his
companion and her jangling earrings into the appropriate viewing angle. A
moment later they were discussing perspective and complimentary
colorations, the expressively bold brushstrokes of the sails, the
minimalist way the artist had captured the shimmer of the sea, and of
course, the price, anything BUT minimalist.

“I may not know art, ”my jostler said, sipping daintily on a white wine from his plastic
glass, “but I know what I like.” He was quite pleased at this knowledge,
no doubt gained with considerable effort. His companion wagged an
earlobe with a windchime banging to life, evidently in total agreement
with both of us on this aesthetic declaration.

I guess I was still miffed about the impromptu dye job on my best shirt, or maybe it’s just
a character flaw deeper than any fabric stain, but I smiled winningly
and said out of the cerulean blue, “I don’t know much about
biochemistry, but I sure know a good clone when I see one.” This caused
some raised eyebrows, a rolling of the eyes and the beginning of distant
alarm bells that would soon drown out the jangling jewelry. For good
measure I added, “I don’t know much about history either, but hey, I
love a good war. I know what I like.”

So okay, I cost Regina a commission and I should feel bad about that. Probably cost the artist a
sale and I should feel worse about that, but I don’t. I do happen to
know something about art, and I know what I don’t like. I guess it’s
okay to buy what you do; I just don’t think we should be proud of our
ignorance. Then again, what the hell do I know?

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