No matter how ‘original’ the works were coming out coming out of there the studios surrounding Paris were places where men were taught to creatively express themselves with limitations with restrictions obviously A gallivanting horse needed to gallivant not frolic and a camellia must resemble a camellia and not any other bloom They learnt a f o r m u l a – a way to capture the sun on her regular rounds of the earth They learnt to capture the wind- from the roughest of winds to the slightest of breezes and they learnt to use pale colours- to paint how light reflects through the thin muslin of a ladies’ gown and how the gradients of colour in her cloth changed with every subtle breath of air They were given palettes of beauty- not for their tastes but the tastes of those who commissioned them and although they were left to dream their imaginations on a canvas these men remained focused on the traditional subjects- a sunflower here a haystack there
The blue on their canvas was not a regular blue it was a deep sky blue the blue on a clear spring summer’s day perhaps a blue suggestive of a foreboding storm off the shoreline It was a blue that sparkled with the calm ocean and it was a blue that was reflected in the shadows on the face of a lady standing parasol in hand at the edge of the land peering into the deep This blue aswerealltheirothercoloursmind was unthreatening pale calm The artists learnt to harness their skills and the art studios were places where the most wonderful of this breed could be found
The work they produced drew crowds The glasses of an artist were invited to be peered through as their works graced the displays in exhibitions It showed people a life more fragile more delicate than their own lives their looong hours their street filth their grimy faces Yet even these people could be art critics- a connoisseur of these painters could be found on every street corner- can still be found on every street corner Everyone seemed to have an eye for the way leaves are left, enlacing the ground or the way that horse’s muscles are flexed and from there it didn’t matter what class you were you could be an art critic.
There were still distinctions however It was easy to distinguish the people who had confetti-like money for artworks for what they thought would be considered valuable from the people who had neither the finances nor the expertise to specialise in these fields of art critiquing EVEN today a waterlily can be found adorning the atrium of a middle-class house so how can these men even be considered fresh at all?
There was however one Man who by personal limitationsandgenuine interest happened to chance upon the beauty that is the art world. Bedridden with a rare and horrific bone disease at a young age this Man was no gentleman necessarily He had the need to explore the world and from his room he painted what he saw even if his subject had flaws personality charisma This Man had a talent a different talent a unique talent His brushstrokes brandished the perfect replica of a face of a subject The quality of his portraits far surpassed that of his peers adding another dimension an up-curled lip a sneer a wince his ambition and skill was far more complex than any other He possessed the extraordinary powers of examination for scrutiny for the pain behind the eyes for the lost courage behind the mask for the eternal exhaustion and so he painted Le Parisian underground
This Man’s paintings went beyond the cityscape to the make shadows and darkness a focal point To dub the landscapes and interiors of Paris and its surrounds merely secondary to the character of the subject His uncovering of the psychological essence of a subject left his contemporaries to shame and was later realised by Germans to be of immense value and unlike his contemporaries he didn’t care to finish a portrait or finish canvas and while those very same contemporaries journeyed from painting natural real works a perfect-mirror-image-of-reality-on-a-canvas to impressions and interpretations of light and movement The Man went further
He took a face a bland face of an everyday squatter and his sketchings of the face became identifiable with Michaelangelo’s and then he took the face and smudged it just a smidgen to create a soft gradient of colours and then he took the blur of colours that smudged reality into gradual gradients and separated them even further into small pixels of colour of light of movement and placed them Nicely Structured Into Neat Grades something so radically unheard of ever before something that relied on the unknowing participation of your eye to mould the colours together to form a picture
But even this was not enough
While civilised society attended and revered OperasandOrchestralConcertsandRestaurantsandBallets
While civilised society was still basking in the last rays of the sunny countrysides still absorbing the last warmth of the autumn at the races still staring at the stars on a starry starry night This Man became obsessed with the underbelly [of the] city and many of his subjects could be found lurking at the maisons de tolerance a place Merely Tolerated due to nearly illicit activities and he lurked around the same performances of cabaret c0unt1e55 times just to see not the performance per say rather the reactions and interactions of the audience and there he would paint and paint and [oilandcharcoal] paint and paint and [crayononcanvas] paint and [sketchoncardboard] paint and he painted grotesque ladies with ill-fitting bodices and chubby men who seemed less than gentle and secretive conspirators conspiring in a booth and ballerinas with their faces dripping off from total exhaustion and harlots with vulnerable expressions on their hardened faces and comic performers in their interval moments of genuine sincerity
while civilised society was still standing on the bridge overlooking some waterlilies
By the power vested in Japanese Japonisme his Neatly Separated Pixels Of Colour And Light became blocks like woodblocks of colour of colour with no gradient of one colour of purer colours of sinuous lines and there this man learnt minimalism and discarded the superfluous nature of suggestive blues and became able to simplify emotions with only a single brush stroke of oil or crayon or charcoal and he stained the poster-boards at the Moulin Rouge with LOUD PROUD BOLD AND GOLD colours afforded and under commission by establishments and he wrote his name at the bottom and from then on his father disowned him Ugh! Such ghastly subjects [he said] How could you associate our name with that trollop?! [he said] and it was indeed saddening but no matter The Man now had a commercial break He illustrated books He advertised photographers He came to deconstruct the image in such an abstract way that it’s appearance could still be likened to its origin but would no longer be suggestive in the sweeping plains of colour only suggestive in gesture and body language and facial expression and
and maybe This Man became bored
So he decided to employ the services of a certain green fairy beside an Australian chum (a chum who later went on to paint spirits and dryads and mystical imaginings) to expand his creative vision to reimagine the unimagined and while this momentous momentum rolled on-
he could no longer feel the grass between his toes he could no longer raise his arm to shield his eyes from the sun he could no longer listen to the laughter in the Moulin Rouge and when he covered his mouth with a kerchief to cough- he saw colours as red as the petticoats on those can-can girls
And this man was no more.