FFfAW — Eye of the Beholder

The two friends were heading toward Columbus Circle. As they walked by one of the buildings along the busy boulevard, Susan suddenly stopped short. “Oh my god!” she exclaimed. “What the hell is that?”

Craig followed her gaze to see what it was that she was looking at. He stared at the sculpture for a few minutes before declaring, “It’s a work of art.”

“It’s monstrous,” Susan said in disgust. “How can you call that thing ‘art’? It makes me feel sick to my stomach.”

“The purpose of art is to communicate ideas and to generate strong emotions. It’s intended to elicit a response, which is exactly what it did with you.”

“It’s totally gross,” Susan said.

“You don’t have to like the artist’s work to appreciate the art.”

“Isn’t there enough violence without creating ‘art’ to celebrate it? I’m going home.” Susan turned around and started walking away.

Craig called out, “It generated strong emotions. That makes it art!”

(160 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt from Priceless Joy. Photo credit: Jade M. Wong

30 thoughts on “FFfAW — Eye of the Beholder

  1. baddadcartoons101 August 28, 2017 / 11:38 pm

    That reminds me of my cartoons, they generate strong emotions of melancholy, disgust and disappointment, they must be really good art!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Emily August 29, 2017 / 1:41 am

    Lovely take; I agree, what makes a piece of art good is whether it changes how people feel – this obviously did that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 6:15 am

      Thanks. Art does stir something in most people, one way or the other.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Iain Kelly August 29, 2017 / 2:55 am

    I’m with Craig, although I can understand Susan’s point of view, and also if the ‘art’ is so obscure no one can really tell what it stands for, is it really effective?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 6:18 am

      Good question. Maybe how it makes you feel is as important as what it means.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor August 29, 2017 / 4:01 am

    It is sad that this is all that is left of the man who was shot through the skull with several arrows.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Moon August 29, 2017 / 6:49 am

    Nice conversation and story. Really enjoyed it .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 6:54 am

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it.


  6. Priceless Joy August 29, 2017 / 8:46 am

    Craig is right about art stirring up strong emotions. Seems to me Susan is a little too uptight! Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 9:20 am

      Thanks. I agree that Susan may be a little too literal. I think she also has a sensitive tummy.


  7. michael1148humphris August 29, 2017 / 9:29 am

    I am with your character, Susan on this piece of art, but I like your story

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 10:16 am

      I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am with her on this, too. It’s kinda gross.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. James August 29, 2017 / 10:01 am

    I can think of plenty of things that elicit a strong emotional reaction from me and that aren’t art.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 11:34 am

      Maybe…if you’re not a cat person. 😱


  9. luckyjc007 August 29, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Art can generate a strong emotion for some, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a repulsive piece . I’m with Susan on this one. I think she was disappointed that she was not getting an emotional reaction from a different piece of art, but relaying the same message some how.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 29, 2017 / 2:46 pm

      She got a strong, albeit very negative, reaction to the sculpture.


  10. Michael August 29, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Art can be so subjective can’t it……what one likes the other hates…..I have a son who sells art around the world and here in Australia gets a lot of work but his work is not without controversy as art should be and as you illustrated in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 30, 2017 / 10:36 am

      Thanks. You’re right about art. If it moves you, one way or the other, the artist has done his/her job.


  11. afairymind September 2, 2017 / 4:36 am

    I’m with Craig on this one. Art doesn’t have to be beautiful. It should raise questions and elicit emotions, and that piece definitely does that. Good story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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