Clearly, attending art school serves a purpose. You learn technique, history, the lingo, the affrontery, brashness, abuse of being critiqued by peers, and you may not learn how to defend your self, your inner self, but you learn how to strike back.
No, no. You are not supposed to strike back, counter-attack, volley verbal even physical violence on all assailants, but rather defend your work in a pacific, if impassioned, argumentative, reasonable, even-handed, cordial, gentlemanly civilised fashion.
And beat the shit out of the most ardent critics.
One by one, in the days, weeks, months, even years, as they emerge from the repertoire theatre, the romantic dinner with a fellow intellectual at a bring-your-own-wine trattoria, or schmaltzy diner, or sauntering free of admirers, a glib one or two, after a vernissage, a finissage, a talk.
You strike flesh, bone, muscle and nerve beneath flesh, bone, muscle, nerve, rage and frustration – oh, the sweet, anarchic, bloodlustful freedom that comes with vengeance!
To talk, discuss, debate, rant and rave, scream and shout, insult, even push and shove – yes, these are fine and good, acceptable, but violence, ultraviolence?
Well, why not?
Yes, okay. He, too, will write critiques, slag off his peers, laugh at the nonsense on display, scorn at essays describing trash proclaimed titillatingly fresh art of new, up – and – coming, established artists by mediocrities, but also by Professors Emeritus, Distinguished, and their tribe if woolly hangers-on via his own essays, blogs, posts, talks, seminars, conferences, and questions during his peers’ events.
But why rule out the power of physical force?
Why not use the stick when the carrot, one presumably huge and inflatable set floating in the currents of the Thames, Hudson, and Seine Rivers, when the carrot proves insufficient?
A club, cane, umbrella, a tome, bottle a well-aimed kick, or slew of bare-knuckled punches, applied like strokes to a brigjt, witty, now darkening, wistful face.
A good-hearted, generous beating as performance art!
A happening which continues when Ignoramus is wheeled into the hospital, tubes sticking from his arms and nostrils, contraptions beeping and blinking, nurses wailing for more blood.
Yes, more blood.
Of course, there’s the Law.
Tell that to Signor Gallerista, says this artist, cutting short, putting on the mask of Caravaggio, tomorrow Chris Marlowe, the day after…
Well, I won’t tell you, will I, in case your sleight of hand has proved harmful, ineffective, or you’ve failed to notice, and now you are looking behind your back in a crowd, an admiring crowd of art school students, peers, artists, journalists, critics, a general public wherein stands, is approaching, a man faintly resembling, can it be..?
End of Part One.