I imagine being around one of those famous, quirky, surrealist artists of the last century was quite exciting. You’d never quite know what was going to happen next. They might turn up dragging a dead horse on a piano. Come to think of it, they’d be a right pain in the arse to share a house with.
You’d forever be finding them eating cheese out of your hat or piling up all their possessions in the middle of the room and sitting on them shouting “I’m a queen-lady! Meow!”
Come to think of it, that’s my daughter.
Two years old. Wildly imaginative. Disconcertingly surreal. Utterly narcissistic. She’s like a female Salvador Dali, if he was ginger, and two. Yes, being creative is all very well, but sometimes you just want them to do something that you want them to do, like eat something other than cheese. A carrot, for instance. I know you’re a member of the cat aristocracy but just take a break for two minutes and eat a blummin’ carrot!
If you put healthy food on her plate, she creates with it. Smears it everywhere like a disgusting action painting. “Stop playing with your food.” You say, like the philistine you are. She’s making art, you lumpen prole. “Just eat something. Just one bit of food I’ve just made you. Eat a carrot.”
She regards you with a mixture of bemusement, disgust and indifference. To great artists, critics are the lowest form of life.
It’s painting day at the play group. “Great.” You think. “She’ll be rolling around in it like a dog.” As it turns out, surprisingly, she doesn’t.
It’s vegetable painting. You get a vegetable, like say, a mushroom or a… carrot, chop it in half and dip it in paint and see what shape it makes. “What’s she going to do with this?” I think, utterly jaded and cynical. Nothing this artist could do would surprise me at this point.
She dips the carrot deeply into the blue paint, then studies it, fascinated. Then she does something utterly original that completely astonishes me.
With one large bight, she starts eating it.