“W’s painting was made into a poster displayed at Time Square this week.” My friend told me excitedly. W is a relative of my friend who has been a wandering artist for years. Not that he has a preference for perambulation, but rather he’s wandering between feeding himself and starving himself, between hope and despair, between continuing his own pursuit without much financial reward and working for an advertising company to earn stable income.
So finally he obtains a small victory now and makes himself known to a certain degree. My friend often shows me W’s painting, which W regularly takes picture of and sends through social media. I’ve never understood any of his paintings. The color is vivid. That’s the only thing comprehensible to me. I can’t make out what W is trying to paint. The lines form no shape and the curves represent no discernible object. I wonder if it is about a feverish dream, an abstracted object, or an indescribable mood. I didn’t dare to ask, in case it exposes my ignorance. Then I thought I’m quite ignorant about art anyway. So why not ask? So I asked and my friend replied that he had no idea what the painting is about. Still his incomprehension doesn’t make him less happy about W’s achievement. If anything, his not understanding it only makes him admire W more. Mystery gives enhancement to any emotion we’ve already had.