Art: Imitation or Intimidation

Aristotle, Kierkegaard, and I were sitting on my back porch, drinking red wine, and smoking dope. Nearby, Kate was struggling with an over-sized painting of a redwood. She sighed.

“Frustration is intrinsic to the nature of art,” Aristotle said, taking a big hit of weed.

“If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it,” Kate said, painting a cerulean blue streak on the stylized redwood bark.

Aristotle held his breath and then let out a long flume of smoke. “It’s not within human nature to replicate an ideal.”

“Fuck off, Ari.” Kate said. “You need to get laid more.” Down the center of the canvas, she carefully tracked Fuchsia.

“To paint is to suffer,” Kierkegaard mumbled.

Kate ignored us and began to work on the painting background.

The music changed on the local radio station. Kate sang along.

“Music isn’t what it was in the old days.” Aristotle said, taking another hit.

“Why would you care,” Kate said. “It’s all imitation.”

I recognized the lyrics. “Who is this?”

“Taylor Swift,” Kate answered, “singing Anti-hero.”

“To sing is to suffer,” Kierkegaard said.

Athena brought out fresh zucchini bread and set it on the table in front of us.

I sliced several pieces and handed one to Aristotle.

Tearing it into little bits, he ate one after the other. “The best zucchini bread of all time.”

I handed a second piece to Kierkegaard.

He devoured it and lay back in his chair. “Beam me up, Jesus.”

I handed a third piece to Kate.

She studied it and then slapped the zucchini bread in the middle of her painting. “Perfect.” She stepped back. “Life intimidates art.”

Image Attribution: Raphael, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Written by : Bob Burnett