Friday Fictioneer 100 Word Story #11: Vision

Vision

The group sat around Jack’s table in his light-flooded studio.

Lauren, his Marketing Director, unbuttoning her suit jacket, leaned back to study the huge painting. “Darling, the mushroom will confuse your clientele; too tough to sell.”

Jack’s Agent, Max, spoke up: “We know, Lauren, they won’t expect realism, but…”

“The mushroom gives me something to write about!” exclaimed Lisette, Jack’s Publicist.

“Max, you always stand up for Jack,” challenged Lucius, Jack’s Gallery Owner, “but his fans won’t buy the realism.”

“But my medium’s still house paint, and mushrooms — that’s my vision!” Jack pleaded.

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23 comments

  1. Hey Carlos,

    There sure are a lot of people here, and I guess that could making for a rather scathing indictment of the “art scene/market.” (If I actually knew anything about it, hahaha)

    But the last line kinda throws me off a bit.

    Still there’s like 5 people and it doesn’t seem too crowded, which is a feat, I think.

  2. Hi Carlos, I want to reply to Craig! I thought the last line brought everything into perspective, so to speak. The management of the art scene and the spoiled artist in the centre – maybe with a real vision he wants to get out this time? The boy who cried “mushroom”?
    X

  3. Thanks, Ms Glamoura. The inspiration for this was reading what a complete tosser Damien Hirst is, the epitome of artist as businessman, a pathetic leftover from the 80s greed ethos, lacking in any resonant inspiration but surrounded by a corporate business team geared for making money. I immediately discovered it was going to be problematic getting five people into 100 words! The last line is, I guess, what you make of it, but for me the key word was “pleaded.”

  4. I read your story from an artist’s/writer’s POV, Carlos. Where Lindaura saw a “spoiled artist,” I saw art being trampled by everyone else, until the “art” was potentially lost. Maybe that’s because I just had an experience with an editor who tried to change my story so much, we terminated our relationship. Very thought provoking, Carlos!

    Here’s mine:
    http://jansthoughtsovercoffee.blogspot.com/2012/02/flashfriday-fridayfictioneers-lovers.html

  5. Nice writing, Carlos, and what a way to deal with a difficult picture – make it into a difficult picture!

    I thought cramming all those people into such a space did make it crowded, but I also get the impression that was what you were trying to do, to show this world. And I enjoyed the last line too!

    Mine is here: http://wp.me/p1PeVl-3s

    • That’s a fair great comment, making a difficult picture into a difficult picture! It is what I wanted to do, have all those business people surrounding the artist, perhaps a business person himself. I had the idea before I realised what problems it presented, but I wanted to stick with it and not write a story within the picture. I’m now thinking I should have titled it The Art World.

  6. I like Lindaura’s response “the boy who cried mushroom” and I think Craig and Elmo are right to comment on the number of people, although I’m not sure whether I think it’s crowded or not.

    I guess, I don’t think it’s crowded if it’s more of a snippet — and I read it more as a scene than a whole narrative. So that’s lovely and it works. Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s mine: http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/trip-99/

  7. Thank you, Lime. It really is about the number of people, that’s the whole point, so I don’t get the criticism that there are too many people. I keep rewriting it, and I’ve changed the title, to try to make it clearer, but maybe it just isn’t an idea that works. And, you’re right, it’s not really a linear story, per se, but I think that many of the offerings are similar that way, snippets, vignettes. I’ll think about it some more…

  8. Dear Carlos,

    The best line is Jack’s declaration/confession that his medium is still house paint. The most significant line is that he painted his vision. An artist struggling amid the hangers on to stick to his vision? There’s a lesson for writers here, isn’t there?

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • The story/stories is/are paralleling the experience of me writing them. People didn’t seems to get the story, commenting that there were too many characters, etc. But I wanted the crowd, in order to write a scene that reflected the professional art world and all the influences. Curiously, the house paint reference was the last thing I put into the last attempt. The artist was never not part of the commercial aspect either, but a participant, willing to accept the advice of the professionals around him. Anyway, I didn’t seem to be communicating all this, so I gave it up and wrote another story with just two characters and a clearer resolve, I think. But it’s not what I wanted originally to write.

  9. I ‘saw’ the room and felt the pensive wait for approval and heard the plea from the artist wanting his art to remain true to his vision.

  10. Didn’t seem crowded, at all, to me. The part that is difficult to me is that, if he is sticking to “his medium,” then “his clientèle” would already know that and wouldn’t be confused at all. Thus, the line that confuses me is Lauren’s, not the last line.

    Not sure. Maybe it has something to do with my being at a friend’s gallery just this morning and having seen her new painting (no – not a mushroom).

    Here’s my story: http://wp.me/p24aJS-2F

    • Thanks for the comments. His medium is house paint, but he has always painted non-objectively, so to suddenly paint an object would be disconcerting to his fan base. This is drawn from two sources: an artist I was friends with in university many years ago, and musicians I have know who have switched from, say, free jazz to chord-based jazz. They picked up new fans but many of old ones fled in anger at the supposed hypocrisy. Between Jack’s coterie of business advisors and the reactionary attitude of “fans” he is in a tough place, but he is grown up and accepts it, something we should understand about art and business. Carlos

  11. I’m familiar with this world and found every bit of this to be cutting. Excellent! I didn’t think there were too many people at all. Did wonder if anonymity would strengthen this piece or not. For example, instead of Jack’s publicist–the publicist, or Jack’s gallery owner–the gallery owner.

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