Chicago | Los Angeles | Miami | New York | San Francisco | Santa Fe
Amsterdam | Berlin | Brussels | London | Paris | São Paulo | Toronto | China | India | Worldwide
New York

Kitsch, an Avant-Garde Fable
by Marcus Civin









My father suggested in lieu of being a broke artist that I write stories to make some money. Young adult fiction? I stalled, talking about the pictures I would want to make, exaggerating about the over-arduousness of scanning drawings, the well-known issues of image quality, the tyranny of paper stock.

Well, no more stalling Dad.

Here goes:

Kitsch, an Avant-Garde Fable

By Marcus Civin

Noah, wearing red deck shoes and tight green shorts, carrying a pink messenger bag will sneak through the white security gate pulling three half-heliumed balloons, each a slight graphite gray. In his pink messenger bag: one avocado (fresh), one tomato (less so), a rubber duckling, a stuffed panda with blue instead of black spots, and (last, but not least) a very, very little, very proper girl, a real proper girl with mismatched eyes.
Desolation Row 1
Noah’s parents will not be back from their holiday at Sag Harbor for a couple days. He will be where he should not be, on the fantastical side of the white security gate.

His drawing teacher told him he should do anything he could to “perfect his technique.” But, it is difficult to assume what pains might be taken to achieve such an elusive perfection.

Through the white security gate, Noah will walk. Through the security gate, Noah will draw, walk, look, stop and draw.

Through the white security gate, one of the three little pigs will hold back another of the three little pigs from diving over the monumental lavender side of their monumental pig coal train car. The third pig will raise ardent forelegs and bellow: “Let her go if she wants!”

“But, she will hurt herself. She must be taught. She does not know what she wants and what she thinks she wants is nothing real. She wants postcards not saw dust in her veins, not experience.”

The diving little pig hoofs indomitable will reach towards a tottering old jester playing the violin. The jester will wear one luminous purple tight and one luminous pink tight, and play the same thing jesters always play on violin: Karen Carpenter. His playing interrupted—there is singing too—by asthmatic wheezing, the jester will itch his crotch, ignobly. Nearby, an archangel in clogs, will endlessly bounce and bounce, bounce and bounce, bounce and bounce. The archangel will be serious about bouncing but will wink at Noah and snicker at the Jester: “I have seen this violin stuff a million times. It still doesn’t sound like anything to me! I hate music! I hate singing!”

This kind of thing can go on all night behind the white security gate. It will go on all night. Noah will draw, look, stop and draw.

The cockatoo, wide-eyed, will always be gripping at his seat. (He was painted by a Pointillist.) His seat will be a clock. The clock will say: “five o’clock!”

The arguing ink-stained, pinch moustache monkey, his worst-behaved child on his back, will blow air out from his upside down heart-shaped nose, mad with the jesters and the archangel, the clock and the cockatoo for not resolving what to do with the red Tin Pan Alley drum, what to do with the piles of books on the subject of corner molding and the piles of books on the subject of octopus fishing. He will shout at Noah for drawing them.

“What do you want with us, Bohemia Tourist?”

Noah will set down his full pink messenger bag by the hedge to keep the bag from being soaked in pig sweat. And the clock, against a stained-to-cracking wall, will be tied to the rocking horse that will gently rock... and so the clock tied to the rocking   horse will rock... and the rocking clock will knock over Noah’s full pink messenger bag that he had placed by the hedge. The cockatoo will be embarrassed by the clock spilling Noah’s pink messenger bag and will be mad at the clock. The cockatoo will scrape nervously at a wet oil painting with a palette knife, then shout:

“You have nothing to say. You have nothing to say.”

The clock will retort: “five o’ one!”

Noah will draw, look, draw.
Desolation Row 2
Then, the unusual entrails from Noah’s pink messenger bag: one avocado (fresh), the tomato (less so), the rubber duckling, the blue panda, and the little girl with the crooked eyes, stifled by her stuffed sleeves (bouncing a blue ball off her blue bow)... After a year or so of bussing tables and playing places where people never stop talking even though you are playing, and everyone is more worried about planning their cocktail selections at the long unbroken bar than getting parallel lines to meet—those kinds of places... after that year—well, maybe after two years, taking into account inflated rent prices—Avocado, Tomato, Duckling, Panda, and Little Crooked Eyes will make a band: The Unusual Entrails. After paying those dues, The Unusual Entrails will turn it out in the best houses.

Left behind, of course, the other violinist—you didn’t see her? Noah will have seen her. The other violinist backing up the jester violinist, the jester the pig reached out for... The Other Violinist: her pretty lipstick will be sung off, her cheeks still extra rosy, long eyelashes, but mourning, her hair forever and as always, neon blue, but unsure strokes will lead to tangles, green eyes brooding—a violinist playing fugues, stuck, drenched in motionless Alexandrianism.

- Marcus Civin

Image Credit: from the facade of Kids Dental Kare, 4905 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.............

Posted by Marcus Civin on 8/31/10

Related articles:

Copyright © 2006-2013 by ArtSlant, Inc. All images and content remain the © of their rightful owners.