Art By Franco
“Ethan!” Vinny yelled across the room, “Over here!”
Vinny quickly made his way toward Ethan through the crowd that had assembled in the small space.
“You made it!” Ethan said pulling Vinny into a hug.
“Yes, yes. I took a cab down and we hit a few too many lights.”
“They never seem to be in sequence when you’re in a rush.”
“No, no they don’t.” Vinny agreed laughingly. “So, this is your friend’s show?”
“Yes! Franco. He’s a good friend from college. So many people are here, too.”
“There are a ton of people here. That’s uncommon for a show in the middle of the week, isn’t it?”
“It is. I’m somewhat surprised. His work is not very traditional, it’s so abstract and austere. I love it.”
The two slowly walked around the room coming upon what appeared to be a dirty wall. Technically the building they were in was the cellar level and many of the walls were exposed concrete or a decorative concrete covering the existing foundation.
“I’m glad you invited me, Ethan,” Vinny said, “I certainly don’t get out to enjoy the arts as much as you do.”
“My pleasure! Well, what do you think of this one?” Ethan asked.
“This?” Vinny responded. They both stood in a gaze at the wall.
The wall was rough with what appeared to be water stains in a rust color. It seemed to imitate the effects of normal wear on a building’s foundation over time.
“I don’t know, Ethan. I’m really not good at this sort of thing.”
“Nonsense, Vinny, there’s no wrong answer here. How does it make you feel?”
Vinny stared at the wall. He attempted to draw conclusions from the stains and the jagged surface.
“I don’t really feel anything. It’s as if I’m staring at an old dirty wall.”
“Yes! Of course it is. It’s invoking in you the feeling of decay, the feeling of time and what it does to our bodies. All these emotions emblazoned on a wall.”
“Okay. If you say so.”
“I’ll get Franco, you can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.”
Ethan politely grabbed the next server he saw as she passed them carrying drinks.
“Excuse me,” Ethan started, “can you tell me where Franco is?”
“Franco?” She replied. “There’s no Franco who works here.”
“No, of course not, silly, I’m not talking about an employee; I’m looking for Franco, the artist.”
“Sir. I am very confused. I apologize, but there is no one here named Franco.”
“This is the Gallery on Broadway, in SoHo, correct?” Vinny interjected.
“Yes. It is.” The server calmly responded.
“Then where is Franco?”
“I’m sorry, sir, this isn’t the location, this is just a bar named Gallery, however there is an art gallery on West Broadway, still in SoHo, just a few blocks west.” The server added.
“Really? Then how do you explain this?” Ethan asked pointing to the wall they had been analyzing.
“Sir, we’ve already filed a complaint with our landlord, he’s working with the building’s insurance company to repair the damage, but thank you for drawing more attention to it. Now, if you don’t mind, I need to deliver these drinks to the customers who ordered them, because this is a bar.”
The server swiftly walked away from two men. Vinny comfortingly placed his hand on Ethan’s shoulder.
“I may not understand art, but I do know that you look like you could use a drink. How about we go analyze the bar?”
Ethan rolled his eyes and bashfully agreed.