Be warned, there will be spoilers for Absorbing Art below the break!
To be honest I’m not sure exactly how this idea started but I know where some of the ideas came from. The first, and probably most obvious, inspiration is the painting The Scream
by Edvard Munch
. As you can see from the picture on the right hand side The Scream
is the basis for the painting in the Absorbing Art. I’ve yet to see The Scream
in person so I don’t know if the painting has the same effects in real life.
The Opinions on Art
From the first line of Absorbing Art it is clear that the main character does not have a huge opinion on art. While I don’t agree with everything he says, I do believe that some ‘art’ is only called art because the artist has justified it in a way that applies to critics.
Interestingly the main character’s art opinions were a late addition to the tale. In the earlier drafts, the gallery was more standard filled with traditional style painting of torture. The reason for the change was the need to give the main character access to a lighter. When you only have 500 words to work with, you need to take short cuts and setting the story in an open air gallery seemed like a better idea than bluntly stating the character smoked. In the long run I think I made the right decision.
I have to finish this Author’s Note
with a confusion. The ending was ‘borrowed’, with a few changes, from a story by life member of West Lothian Writers Robert Breustedt
. Many years ago now he wrote a story which finished with a character being pulled into mirror. Now I’ve made a few of my own changes to the idea but the concept is still basically the same. I’m sure Robert
won’t mind me borrowing the idea!
If you liked Absorbing Art please like it on 99 Fiction!