There was this poster in his dorm room. People asked about it, or, if they stayed quiet, talked about it later, in another room. The image clashed with the explosive vibes of frosh week, this romantic thing. It wasn’t manly (it wasn’t about wealth or acquiring better women) and didn’t spark a conversation between these near strangers when conversations came to their awkward closes. Nobody could name the artist. An art student, next-door, was hanging pictures of landscapes – where people were absent, idyllic, apolitical – while the rest of the students posted various symbols- of teams, or countries- or, faces of musicians. Nobody agreed on what the image was really about.
This is not to say that everyone else was clueless, and he got it, one of those hipster-contemporaries who know the true biography of the artist in the underground exhibition, hosted in the basement of an independent brewery, one of those exhibits that would be later bought by the government, thinking it ‘cultural,’ the cost inspiring all-caps headlines from Montréal news-tabloids: MILLION DOLLAR BABY – TAXPAYERS REQUEST A DIAPER CHANGE.
It did not matter if the student looking at the image was confident- talking in short spurts- or meek, or how much time they had put into their looks, or how much they tried to seem that they did not put time in their looks: The image was always the same. Like Art, people held extreme views on the image. Everyone had an opinion. The image was the only of its kind among all of the rooms in the building. That was the point, he thought: Art was like that one rock you found in grade five that nobody else had, and it did not matter if other people in class who did not have the rock liked your rock or didn’t, or if they tried to find meaning in the colours on the rock, because you knew it was just frog shit. Art was that something new that stood by itself, to witness. Art was Lebron. It’s like playing your own music, he tried to explain, instead of leading the cover band.
word by Liam Lachance
colour by Iker Ayesteran