Though it was Sunday, I was working. Despite the light breeze, warm sun, and fledgling green on the trees, I was tucked away in the cool, quiet privacy of my gallery after hours. When the phone rang, I was surprised. Not many people call the gallery on a Sunday.
The caller was my son. He wanted to tell my why he got arrested at an art gallery in Aspen this past weekend. He was laughing, pleased by his own sense of irony. After a few drinks with friends, he walked the streets, killing time until his girlfriend arrived to meet him. He saw lights on at an art gallery that was still open, and went in to look at the work.
It happened that the work was good. He perused the gallery until something caught his eye. It was a sky blue painting with crystal drops that took his breath away. He fell in love. He espoused. He gestured. He stared. He walked away and came back. He called me. He called his friends to come over and see the work. Fixated on the work, he was passionate and excited. Unfortunately, he was dressed in an old A-shirt, baggy shorts and a backwards baseball cap. He is 6’2. Though he is gorgeous and articulate, he was also drunk.
The sales associate didn’t know what to do with his passion. Or his size. Or his intoxication. So she called the police. He left the gallery and the police picked him up on the sidewalk. The police report indicates that the sales associate didn’t think he was a serious buyer and felt threatened by his presence.
When he called me on Sunday, he said, “There was something about this painting mom. I can’t even tell you what it was, but it grabbed me. It was amazing. Have you ever felt that way about a piece of art? Do you know what I’m saying?”
I am not sure where the story lies in this. Is it about a 22 year old man who fell in love with art? Is it the stereotyping of a young man in sloppy clothing? Is it that art is reserved for the wealthy? Is it in the artwork itself? It is probably in all of these, but the story is his to tell.
For me, I am proud of him, and sharing his laughter. I think it is almost great that he was arrested for loving a piece of art, and I had to smile when I replied to his question, “I do understand sweetheart. I do.”