Confessions of a Social Pariah, Reflections

Confessions of a Social Pariah: It's just lines – nothing more.

By Spliph, South Africa:

A discussion on skew lines, crying men and takkies at an art exhibition.

Have you seen them?

Fermented beverage in hand, cigar smoke scintillating the already toxic air, well worn dinner jackets on their shoulders, captivating hairstyles on their heads, and their noses a centimetre above its natural position. They are engaged in deep conversations while wearing facial expressions reminiscent of people discussing things of national importance. I have a serious bone to pick with abstract artists and their admirers. Allow me to explain.

So there I am at an art exhibition in a golf t-shirt, chino slacks and All-Star takkies. Had I known that people dress up to see pictures, I would have at least taken the time to wear a belt.

I've never understood abstract paintings, nor do I have the time or mental capacity to listen to the artist give an hour long speech about the emotion that went into drawing a single blue line on a grey canvas. The reason for my ill views is: I could arm my 4 year old nephew with a ruler and a box of crayons and he would come up with something more interesting – you know, like a bowl of fruit.

And what's with art admirers exaggerating every defect in a painting – I have heard a bearded, bespectacled gentlemen cry after noticing a small defect on a painting. The reason for the sudden facial rain was “I can't believe what he was going through”.

Had a camera captured the face I made after hearing that, I would have been maimed all over the world for crying out loud: No emotion was involved in it – it's just lines – nothing more, nothing less!

I have a friend named Bonginkosi. Bonginkosi is a bespectacled vermin from a township called Thembisa in the Eastrand. He and I were having an argument about some rapper's lyrics. He mentioned how elephantine my level of ignorance was, and how mentally unintelligible I am to an artist's “growth” – you should have seem my face.

He believes that messages in songs are not on ear level and for me to truly appreciate the artistry that goes in musical composition – I should internalise the socio-economic hardships endured by generations of slaves so best to understand some loud character with two chains, gold teeth and bad standing with the law – I'd rather watch the Days of our Lives omnibus, thank you very much.

After minutes of listening to the cow dung emanating from his mouth, I employed the services of another colleague to weigh in on the discussion. A livid Bonginkosi left my side being defeated by us. Hooray for ignorance.

That afternoon at the art exhibition I was reminded why I steer clear of creatives and marijuana. Interpret that any way you will.

So please, if you will allow me to make at least one significant contribution to the world, let it be that I opened the eyes of many people regarding abstract paintings and exaggerated lyrics.

And they say Graffiti is vandalism? Granted the positioning can be controversial but at least they take the time to draw an actual picture.

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