I’d like to build a museum and exhibit the works of all the greats. Picasso, Da Vinci, you name them; I’d procure them.
But there’d be no Mona Lisa, Girl Before a Mirror, or Birth of Venus. Instead, I’d exhibit the masters’ early works, and I mean very, very early works. I’d show Da Vinci’s Wretched Sketch of an Apple and The Mucked Up Flower by Georgia O’Keefe. On every wall in every hall I’d display the failed attempts of our finest artists.
I would then give tours to busloads of aspiring painters.
“Look here,” I would say, pointing to a piece by Matisse, “See how he struggled with color?”
“Quick, follow me. You won’t want to miss Van Gogh’s lack of perspective.”
There would also be a room housing the Angry Fit Exhibit, a collection of broken brushes, ripped canvases, and dented paint containers once hurled against makeshift studio walls.
“Do you feel it?” I would ask, “Can you sense the frustration?”
At the exit would hang a large plaque engraved with giant letters, and it would read, “You see, there are no angels here. No gods. No geniuses infused with inborn talent. Just men and women and their efforts. What lies between the works you’ve seen today and the ones you’ve always known are lifetimes. You too have a lifetime. How are you going to use it?”