The Artist Who Mixed All of His Paints

The Artist is the politician, the banker, the philosopher, the psychiatrist, the media, the producer, the writer, the musician, the intellectual, the entrepreneur, the celebrity, the activist, the teacher. The movers and the makers. Any and all who on a large scale have the power to influence the sphere of consciousness and philosophies that are embraced and put into practice by any given group of people.

His pallet and the paints upon it are the peoples and cultures of the world, in all their abundance and variety.

His canvas is the backdrop upon which the human paradigm of existence at large is illustrated.

Early in the the Artist's career, he was sharp and defined in his approach to creating art. He understood that his ability to illustrate was largely dependent on the condition of his tools and materials. He kept his different colors of paint separate, only mixing them to achieve specific hues when needed, leaving intact the source of the colors involved. His paintings were diverse and vivid, a variety of unique expressions. His pragmatic and disciplined approach to his craft ensured both his success and a unique style.

Later on in the Artist's career, things began to change. The social and political climate that he worked within began to view his art in a different light. He crossed paths with people who criticized his work and approach to painting. "You use too much of this color, and not enough of that one," "Don't you know that color is unpopular?" "Try this combination," people began to say more often. His success and reputation were beginning to dwindle, so the Artist began listening to the people more, and adjusting how he painted accordingly. It seemed to work.

Eventually the Artist began to notice that the more he changed his work to suit the perceived needs and wants of his audience and the establishment, the more successful he became. He had become very wealthy by taking this approach. He also began to notice something else, however. It seemed that the more he changed his work, the less happy he became. By this point, his paintings had all started to look the same. It was like he was only painting with different varieties of the same color now. This practice had made him wealthy but miserable.

One day he woke up and decided that he would create his finest work yet, and set forth to render a grand illustration using whatever colors he saw fit. He painted in secrecy, and for a long time, until finally he wasn't only satisfied with the result, but amazed. So proud of his work, he decided he must share it with the world. What better occasion for this than the upcoming annual public art exhibition in the city square? He was ready to astonish his audience.

The date had come. Each artist had their own respective canvas hidden under shroud. The anticipation felt like it was crushing him. A speech preceded the reveal, until finally the signal was given for each artist to unveil their work. With excitement he tore off the cover, and awaited the reaction which he expected would be mutual delight between him and his viewers. The result couldn't have been further from his expectations. At first only a few gasped, which then signaled others to look. Very quickly a crowd had amassed, joining together in shock and dismay. "How offensive!" "This is extremism!" they cried. The artist was confused. He looked at his work; it was beautiful to him. He couldn't understand the reaction. Suddenly he felt a hand grab him firmly by the arm, followed immediately by several more. He was being arrested. As they hauled the Artist away amidst his objections to the insanity, he looked back and saw that his fellow countrymen, with bucket and brush in hand, were smearing his painting with the same color as all the rest. Now all the paintings looked the same, and the people had a sense of justice and relief in their eyes.

In the back of the police van, the Artist contemplated how this ideological subversion of the masses came to be...