The Painter

The car came barrelling towards him with a screech of tires. Black marks painted the roads as the driver lost control. Philip J. Anders jumped clear of the oncoming car as it careened into a nearby telephone pole. As Mr. Anders pulled himself from the dirt ridden pavement he couldn’t help but smile. Another helpless victim he would think to himself. A few people from nearby rushed to the scene and tried to help the old man inside the car. Mr. Anders only stood and watched. He removed the ten mega-pixel camera from inside his pocket and raised it parallel to the scene of the wrecked car. He snapped a picture and placed the camera back in his pocket. Satisfied, he turned on his heels and headed on towards home.

Mr. Anders placed a canvas upon an easel. He picked his favourite brush from a drawer and a few tubes of paint. He began mixing colours on his palette. When he was happy with a few basic colours he sat down the flat board and pulled up the swivel chair to his computer. He pulled the digital camera from his pocket and plugged the USB cord in from the camera to his personal computer. He uploaded the picture of the car accident and enlarged it so it took up the entire screen. Another smirk and he pulled a smock over his head. Mr. Anders began painting his new piece of work.

Mr. Anders was a professional painter.  He was an artist with convoluted ideas and twisted interpretations of art. Although condemned by most critics, Mr. Anders had a niche market and he explored every nook of that niche. He gave what his fans wanted, blood and guts and twisted shards of metal protruding through the prevailing smog of exhaust fumes and burning rubber. Mr. Anders would always deliver. Nobody ever questioned how Mr. Anders would come upon these magnificent wrecks of automobiles and maybe they should have. When a drought was forthwith, Mr. Anders would occasionally deter drivers from the road not with malice but with benevolence. In his eyes it was benevolence. He believed he was performing good acts by the approval of his fans while in the meantime turning a profit.

Mr. Anders became a worldwide sensation. Prestigious art auctions in London and New York along with Paris and Dubai sold his paintings.  He became a cult figure and many tried to imitate his styles by recreating deadly events. The media hated him. They would still write stories about his work and place them on the front page.

It got to the point where Mr. Anders wanted to go bigger and create more works of art. However, car accidents weren’t so frivolous and didn’t occur as often as he would like. He began staging his own accidents; driving cars into ditches at first, minor inconveniences. He grew more adventurous as each accident passed. He took a car over a cliff before jumping out at the last second. He drove head-on in the oncoming lanes. Each time he came away with minor bumps and bruises. He became a daredevil. He became a world icon.

His popularity eventually faded away after he died. People began forgetting about his dangerous stunts and boisterous attitudes. His works did manage to gain popularity but only his early works. Fraud deemed his latest works illegible mostly because of fabrication.  They sold for amounts much less than his originals. His masterpiece, The Flipped Bus, will sell for millions for years to come. Only esteemed art collectors will remember his name and what he stood for. Had Mr. Anders kept his work in minimalistic portions he may still be remembered by most. Greed and objectivity took control of his life. He was a loner and he preferred it. His life would later be viewed as a work of art, however it was never finished. His life was taken early when he tripped in the bathroom and cracked his skull against the marble sink. An uninspiring end to an extremely precarious life.

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