The bright summer morning was a sharp contrast to William’s dark and gloomy mood. The light air couldn’t chase away the heaviness of his heart.
To a bystander it would seem that an octogenarian was looking out towards the still lake, either chasing away loneliness or trying to remember the last item on the grocery list! But William was reflecting on how he had led his life from where he had come and the hardships he had endured to become who he was today.
Tracing back to his roots he caught himself reminiscing about a South American Texas style farm, where Rodney was born. Yes, that was his original name, Rodney. He remembered growing potatoes (taters as they were called in the country side), carrots and turnips. Working in the fields along with his father and three elder brothers singing the good old country songs, while swaying their hips to the beat.He found his calling in art, but this was where his father put his foot down, categorically stating,
”Ain’t no son of mine going to be the artsy type”. He set out towards New York City, with only his dream to keep him alive. Being young and bold was his only advantage as hitching a ride behind a truck and walking, were the only ways by which he crossed the miles.
Finally, he found himself in the downtown area of NYC, working as a mechanic for stolen cars. The profession wasn’t a choice as feeding food to his stomach was more important than to feed creative passion to his artistic soul. There was no dearth of artists in those streets, which was evident from the graffiti. He never was a part of that culture but it was his painting of those graffiti covered walls that earned him his first paycheck as an artist.
Jubilant he was, but also saddened by the reality of not having anyone to celebrate with. Yes, changes were tough but in order to achieve something great they were essential. His paintings captured the creativity hidden in the mundane reality of the street and its residents. These unusual paintings of his attracted the eye of a seasoned art dealer, paving the way for a new beginning.
He changed his name to William as it seemed more elite and also befitting to the check of a million dollars. He understood that in the artistic culture it wasn’t just the art which was reviewed but also the artist. He stepped into his new role and rose above the standards set by society. True, it was exhausting but those fundamental changes in the way of speaking, dressing and behaving, were the secrets to his becoming who he was, the chairman of the most prestigious committee of artists.
He was here today as he felt his future’s dilemma would be cleared by contemplating his past. He had decided that he would take the plunge into the unknown and declare Abstract Art as a recognised form. It would be a huge surprise. Maybe, it would be a bad decision. But he knew that change is a way of life, and in the artistic world it had been long overdue. He abides by that simple rule, and had lived to tell the tale.