You might think the hardest part would be getting the ideas. But Marshall went outside to smoke, leaving his sketch pad. Like performing a sleight-of-hand trick on a stoner.
They were half mine anyhow. We brainstormed together. His execution just elicited a more favorable response.
The real tricky part was the work. Frantic. Much harder than Marshall every worked. I had to find materials, scout locations, then dig, set, up, wait for the right light, and then get photos. And then make the prints right. That was the hardest. Up all night, dueling with Photoshop. Find a gallery to host, hoping all along that Marshall hadn’t already pitched his idea there.
At the opening reception he appears, naturally. He wears a sneer. “You stole my idea.”
“No I didn’t. We talked, together, about the idea of an installation piece that juxtaposed indoors and outdoors.”
“Right. And that’s it. Something that involved bringing dirt inside the gallery. You had some pedestrian idea about creating an indoor Garden of Eden. The square of dirt with the weeds in the center of the room. The photo behind it of a field with a square of hardwood in the middle of it, like the two squares were swapped. That’s mine and I never told you.”
“Guess we think alike.”
“I’d punch you, but that would be as cliché as your art usually is.”
You’d think the hardest part would be this insult. But it wasn’t. I’ll still say it was the busy work.