VOICES FROM THE FIRE:Doug Jacquier

The Naif Fisherman

I’d been driven by my friends to an exhibition (not at a gallery but at the artist’s house or, more correctly, the artist’s parents’ house, a mudbrick two-story faux-Gothic number nestled in a forest background), where the wine was served in pottery goblets made by a local ‘craftsperson’ who saw anything that would sit on a flat surface as hopelessly bourgeois, and the nibbles were vegan and indigestible.

Sibilant cutting remarks echoed through the faux medieval gallery, complete with its redwood refectory table that seemed to have been adzed by a blind drunk and chunky chairs that would require a backside like a mattress to endure for longer than five minutes.

The paintings themselves were of the naif school (i.e. devoid of any talent for drawing or eye for colour), consisting of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and the Kama Sutra as seen by someone tripping on LSD, and the number of red dots on them indicating sales was testimony to the number of sucker fish caught in the artist’s net.

A growing susurration led to a focus on the stairway, from which reluctantly descended a fey young man with Jesus locks and wispy beard (it wasn’t quite the Second Coming but the beatific faces of the assembled multitude would have given you pause for thought).

Overwhelmed by the moon-faced adoration of the throng, he retreated upstairs (perhaps even to Heaven?), as those that hadn’t made it to the front of the crowd tut-tutted at the insensitive behaviour of those who had.

Once that it was apparent that the wine had run out, my friends approached me and asked me to gush over the precocious talent on display and, given that it was a long walk home, I proffered ‘The images I have seen today will haunt me until I resolve them more fully’, and they nodded sagely.

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