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Reaction.

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In every art or writing class I’ve ever taken, the following question is always asked:

What is Art?

It always get debated. This concept is argued whenever modern art is viewed. I’ve gotten into deeply awkward debates about it while on museum dates. For some reason, people seem to think I have the answer to this question.

And I do. At least the answer for me:

Art is something created that evokes a reaction.

A swirly Van Gogh instills awe and appreciation. The splattered expanses of Pollock make me anxious and free simultaneously. Colorful Warhols make me giggle. Bold Rothkos leave me speechless and transfixed.

Looking in the mirror every day has always caused me a have a reaction.

The typical reaction was disgust. Lumps and bulges in atypical places from the models in the pages of my magazines. Stretch marks and zit spots screaming for attention. Curdled thighs and sagging arms wobbling with every breath. I looked in the mirror and the instant loop that played was “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.”

But I was evoking a reaction.
Thus making me art.

The best kind of art has something new you can find in every viewing. A different paint stroke you hadn’t noticed. A detail previously hidden until you were at the right place in life. A sentence echoing different than it had before in the chambers of your brain.

Those curves are landscapes. Hills and mountains and valleys of skin, meant to be traced with finger tips. The stretch marks are tiger stripe scars telling the stories of where I’ve been. The zits are indicators of what’s going on now. Those thick thighs serve as a cuddly lap for my dog and my spacious arms a canvas for art of the ink variety.

Every inch of me is a living work of art.

I may not hang in a museum, but I’m the masterpiece of my own devices, displayed front and center in the gallery of my life, my movie, my story.

Now I stand in front of the mirror, jiggle a little, and smile, saying “I love you. I love you. I love you.”

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