Art will Save the World
Arthur drove in silence, leaning forward like a fifties racing driver.
“Are you okay Dad?” asked Richard, looking at his mobile as the car joined the flyover.
The opening had been hectic, the old industrial space filled with huge graffiti canvases and people in sportswear and trainers laughing and drinking. He’d felt sorry for Arthur, standing trying to make conversation.
He wasn’t sure why he’d asked him to come.
“Sorry it was a bit loud. The music’s part of the urban scene. All the papers were there, good for my career.”
Below them, strip malls and contra-flows, industrial units and gated developments, low-rise estates turning in on themselves.
“When I was your age,” said Arthur finally, “we occupied our college and demanded art for all and an end to capital. Your mother and I designed imaginary cities for new kinds of people. We thought we could reinvent life. I worried whether painting was counter-revolutionary, can you image?”
“It’s different now.”
Shaking his head, Arthur pulled the car into the driveway.
“We thought art could save the world, remake it. All you care about is buying new shoes.”
Thumb working, Richard texted his agent again.
“Art did save the world, Dad.”