Thursday, 11 October 2007

20. Composition of White on Blue (‘Fun Day’)

“Atlantis, the Gardens of Heligoland, Peter Pan’s boys, the Great Library at Alexandria and most importantly loads of art from really good artists. What do they have in common? They were all lost, that’s what, and sad to say that’s the situation here. A lost masterpiece that can only be glimpsed in a single, grainy shot. It really is a tragedy of the greatest magnitude, but then it is only to be expected of artists of my standing. The works of genius are always marked by their fragility and this was certainly the case with ‘Fun Day’.”

Fleydon struck an odd, heroic pose before the full-scale photographic reproduction of ‘Fun Day’, only relaxing it when our photographer had signalled that they had the required shot. His relationship to the lost work is evidently a complex one. The work was originally commissioned as part of the reconstruction of the club following the ravages of the ‘Points War’, and had the dual role as both advertisement and artwork in it’s own right. The creative process was a difficult one for Fleydon.

“I was bound, constricted by content and lettering – too much darn lettering for my liking - and I was under constant pressure of unaccustomed deadlines. I sweated blood over that work but finally felt that I had nailed it. It was balanced, harmonious and feng-shui-ed to within an inch of its life. In fact the photograph was taken during a Purification and Harmony ceremony near the pond in my back garden that had been sanctified for the occasion.”

But despite all these elaborate preparations, there was a sense of impending doom in the air. Fleydon ran a set of stubby fingers through the dark curls on the top of his head before continuing with the story.

“I was stressed, but it was done and completed on time. I sent copies of the photographs ahead as a courtesy gesture and was astounded to receive a reply the following day. “Love the flag” it read “ but the 6th of May is a Sunday, not a Saturday. Could you re-do it please?” My world just collapsed. It was like watching that Chipstead goal all over again as the be-hooped buffoon strutted and preened on the Kingsmeadow stage, but probably a bit worse. Sunday is much shorter than Saturday and the compositional harmony was gone just like that. The magic had gone. I re-painted it and no-one knew or could tell but myself, but that knowledge was like a canker. It was not good for me or my art…”

The flag flew at a single game before being hoisted proudly above the triumphal arch of Kingsmeadow to announce the festivities. At the conclusion of the event it was still there, proudly flying despite wind, hail and storm but during that night the flag disappeared without trace. There had been high winds and speculation mounted as to whether it might have broken free of it’s moorings, and indeed there were several reports of sightings on that moonlit night, but none that could ever be verified.

“Every great artist looses a work. I have lost a great work. I am therefore a great artist. I do not want it back, and never wish to see it again. It was an ultimately flawed and damaged work that I prefer to remember in its prime and which has served me well more in its absence than its presence. Let it rest in peace and let us consider more exciting works. My legal team will answer any suggestions to the contrary or hints or innuendoes as to the method of its removal. I think we understand each other?”

20. Composition of White on Blue (‘Fun Day’) disappeared in mysterious circumstances soon after its only official display. Its current whereabouts are unknown and it is listed on the ‘Stolen Masters’ database.

No comments: