The Artist

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Chapter Five

The next day the sociology professor began his nefarious plan having his TA take over his lectures. He reached out to an old friend who had become an illustrious art critic. He cut his small talk short and got right to pitching his experiment.

“Well as much as I love that you think my field is a joke, I am morbidly curious to see how it plays out. It is not as simple as you are making it out to be. You can’t just get a couple people to talk someone up and then poof, they are famous. Art is a serious field that many have spent their entire life pursuing only to come up short, with many more never making it. On the other hand, why on earth do you think I would just gamble my line of work and career just so you can prove art is bogus?”

“On the contrary I think that is exactly as easy as it is, but good point. I’ll wager that bottle of bourbon you’ve been after to prove it.”

“Fine, you have a deal. Send me some samples tomorrow. Does your prodigy have a name?”

“Anna.”

“Just a first name?”

“Yes, it’s an acronym for A Nobody Named Artist.”

“Well she at least has the pretentious box checked.”

The next few conversations had about the same ebbs and flow as they amassed more curious bodies to their side. They decided to withhold the fact that there were in fact more critics in on the plan. From the outside they would think they were the only ones giving a positive review. The next day both professors met to discuss the next phase of the absurd experiment. The ground work had been laid, now they just needed their artisan. It wasn’t a hard sale to convince a struggling artist to participate in an experiment where the end result was exposure and possible fame.

“Yes! Of course! That’s my dream. I can’t believe this.”

Anna clasped her hands and raised them to cover her mouth in ineffable joy. She seemed to shine with an ethereal radiance that only comes with a natural desire to succeed.

“Well that was easy enough.”

The sociology professor looked over at the art professor who was attempting to convey his unimpressed attitude with a lucid glance.

“Anna I have to warn you this might not be as easy, with an emphasis on easy, as people are making it out to be. You’re going to need a breakthrough piece so to speak that will be judged and critiqued by your peers. These are serious critics they aren’t going to pull their punches just because you’re new to this. This has to be a work that will define you and your possible upcoming career.”

The art professor had nervous inflections throughout his monologue in an attempt to convey the severity of the situation to an overly blissful young woman.

“I understand. I can do this. I have had something in my mind I have been playing around with in attempt to really capture who I am but I think it will really show who I am.”

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