Art appreciation: Part 1

Arthur was intrigued by the curious display in front of him.

Not that he didn’t expect it. He was in an art museum. A modern art museum. And you always find weird shit in an art museum, not to mention modern ones.

It wasn’t an artwork. But then, most of the stuff in this place isn’t. Or at least he thought so. You never know whether it’s art or not in a modern art museum.

It was two men, sitting on a stainless white bench adjacent to a large canvas of, presumably, a painting. The older man on the left was messy, with a rabid and uncontrollable bundle of hay which resembled a beard on his face. He was wearing a faded greenish tie and shirt and an oversized overcoat, similar to what a professor or critic would wear. His clothes were at first glance, posh and tidy, but were just a façade for a seemingly broken soul. His features were blurred, with waves of drowsy wrinkles on his face but sat eerily still. His face and muscles were tense and veiny, with a stench radiating off him from the sponge of body fluids that were his clothes. He was dripping with sweat, even though the room was fairly cold and air conditioned. His eyes were flushed with red, dry from hours without blinking and intense staring at the painting in front of him. Whatever was wrong with him was probably extreme and a valuable study for the scientific community.

Next to him was a young man. He had a sharp complexion and clear features. He seemed alert and intelligent. He was holding a medium sized camcorder and was pointing it at the old man. Like his companion, he was still and focused, but not as inhuman as his subject. He was wearing a clean navy blue shirt above his “Ceci n’est ne pas un pipe” t-shirt. He seemed to be the old man’s caretaker or something.

In front of them was a large painting. It portrayed a hiker in the left clambering along a path up a hill. But it wasn’t a realistic hiker, but a black, shade-less silhouette, as if it was pulled out a roadside sign next to a hill. As the path continues to the right, the scenery gradually becomes blurred, from sharp, defined forms to hazed, cloudy borders and finally, a single grayish shade.

Arthur sat down next to the young man, but received no reaction from him, as he continued to record the old man’s actions.

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