Last evening, seven hundred painters from around the globe convened in New York. Today we scattered in hiding around the busiest subway station in the city, Times Square and 42nd Street. We covered the platforms, exits and entrances. The great crowd frothed in and out, up and down, in linear daydreams of frantic resolve. We watched, waiting for our appointed moment. As above, so down below.
We came for one reason: we've something to share. Some-thing that cannot be spoken, that can only be shown through knowledge and action. With integrity of purpose. With focus, effort and love. In our time, of our time. Each in our own way.
The plan was simple: a Flash-Mob. At a specific tick of the clock, the busiest of the day, the first group would emerge on the platforms and hurriedly set their gear. Draw, paint; line and mass capturing movement, light, color, even sound and mind. Some finished, some not. No rules. We would capture them and everything around them. Another group would come in. Then another. And another. Stopping traffic and holding attention as mouths dropped open and faces lit up in wonder while seeing our forms unfold. Seven hundred dancing on the head of a pin between the empirical and the conceptual. What magic is this?!
My knees cramped. I smiled, remembering the happy morning it had been. Old and new friends converging in the great hall. Gear strewn everywhere. Painters telling stories of old. The most practiced sharing their techniques. The most imaginative inspiring the less fortunate. Knowledge from all levels traded while united in a common purpose. Throughout last evening, laughter and discussion, not about what makes an object right or wrong but about what makes it Good. Some aged veterans of the 20th century, scarred and wise from their battles, had come to this task. They knelt to tie the shoes of the young and whispered, "There is still much to learn and do. Don't compete. Contribute."
I closed my eyes. In the darkness I could feel the others waiting, entangled in quantum unity our hearts beat as one. Blood pounding in my ears, I listened. Louder, beyond the rhythmic thud I heard the approaching hoof-beats of Art and her glorious attendants: Wonder, Mystery, Beauty, Sublime, Shock, Awe, Contemplation, Inspiration, all of her steeds galloping, a thunderous roar from deep in my consciousness!
Sweat broke on my brow. I opened my eyes and checked the time. Moments away. My chest tightened. We would only have twenty minutes to work freely before some authority would emerge to remove us. Work smart, then thrust the works into the passengers hands and vanish as silently as we had emerged. For years to come, they would tell the story and show them to their friends, and...
...suddenly from somewhere in the middle, the loud cretinous clatter of a human mass clambered onto a crate. This puffing painter raised his bulk skyward and on wobbly knees thrust his fist in the air and bellowed, "We have come to SAVE ART! We are the skillists and our MOVEMENT will NOT be DENIED!"
The floor rumbled the pavement split wide and seven hundred souls tumbled into the hubric abyss, inspiration and knowledge falling after them. Hoof-beats trailed off in the distance. Looking down from high Rubens and Rothko, arms entwined, choked on their ale and roared with laughter. The great crowd frothed along, unaware we had ever been.
I woke up.