Nights of Talent

It is easy for one to marvel at the grandeur of New York City, the world-class plays of Broadway, the gourmet restaurants of 57th Street, the dazzling spectacle that is Times Square. However, few may realize that an incredible scene lurks just beneath the surface of what is the common New York experience. I’m speaking, of course, of the local art scene.

Much to my benefit, I happen to have befriended one such artist a number of years ago and had the privilege to attend an exhibition of her and other artist’s work. The pieces I had the privilege to see that night were extraordinary.

When one thinks of art, doubtless names such as Picasso, Monet, and van Gogh come to mind. But these artists were not born famous. Not one of them could claim immediate recognition or a household name. In fact, if the stories are to be believed, Vincent van Gogh did not even intend to be an artist; rather, his intended vocation was that of a priest. Only after trying desperately to gain a place in theology at Amsterdam University, failing for three years between the ages of 24 and 27, and failing numerous other times in theology at missionary schools and in efforts to become a pastor did van Gogh decide to pursuit art. This failed theologian, this relative unknown to the world community would go on to become one of the greatest artists in European history.

Such are the stories I think of when I visit an art show. Am I perhaps looking at early works from a future Raphael or the sculpture of the next Michelangelo? Will a new take on landscapes be hailed as innovation? Will a new vision of the abstract be judged so radical a departure from the norm as to create its own category?

I heartily recommend to the reader to explore beyond the common of the New York bars and tourist attractions and judge for one’s self. After all, for all we know, a future Picasso could be premiering this Friday at 7.

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