Few things excited me as much as those commercials for starving artist sales when I was a kid. I would nearly hyperventilate with excitement. “Look! Mom! Look! Dad! Look at that! Paintings — most for under $10 — let’s go before they’re gone!”
My parents never budged. In fact I think they got sick of hearing about it by the time I was five. But to my thinking, this was incredible. I dreamed of a house filled with original framed paintings. And…my god!…these ” artists are starving to share their talent.” Or something like that, I can’t remember the hook exactly, but it was good, really good.
“Landscapes! Still lifes! Abstracts! Portraits! Each and every a hand-painted original!”
And I had it all planned out. Above the sofa: A bull and a matador. Above the television: The moon rising over a Mediterranean fishing village. In the dining room: A Victorian street scene. In the bathroom: A crying clown.
Of course back then I thought only with my future in mind. This was more than great art, this was a great investment, one with literally endless possibilities — at least as long as dad still had $10. In the end, we could have a treasure of original art, surely to be worth unimaginable fortunes one day. (Oh, why won’t they listen to me?!) And all we had to do was be first in line at the Curtis Hotel…
It’s funny now, of course, but not because the dream is absurd, but because I can see myself sitting across the room, arms crossed, silently glaring in disbelief and wondering (probably not to myself) if those two people really were my parents. How could it be?
I’m over it, but I realize I could go to one of these sales on my own now. It wouldn’t take much and there’s a big sale in town this weekend. Overcoat? Check. Dark glasses? Check. Hat? Check. Rubber nose and fake mustache…not sure where I put those. (I can get another.)
Do I do it?