Sometimes, we have parties. A frequent topic of conversation at these fiestas is our house – not, I might add, because of anything intrinsic to our house, which is a modest and unremarkable ranch home, but because of all of the art I have on display inside. People love it. Or it creeps them out. But usually, they love it, and they wander about bestowing compliments, which, while not the reason I display art everywhere I can think to, certainly add some clinkity-clank to my love bank.
After a party in 2014, and I won’t say which one, I discovered this:
Now, to the untrained eye, that might look like a collection of amazing cards – and it is. But it’s a collection that is down by two pieces. Someone at a party stole art from my house. Isn’t that sad? You can see the gap where they used to be. I haven’t touched it or filled it with anything new.
I have thought a lot about this theft, first and foremost because it feels like a serious betrayal. Yes, I put things on my walls for everyone who visits to enjoy, but I put them there because I love them, because they mean something to me. Every ATC in my collection is personal for me. Every ATC comes with a story. I would almost rather the TV have been stolen than two of my cards, one of which was an Alice in Wonderland card created by one of my dearest friends on earth. My homeowner’s insurance would cover the TV, which is just an object. They couldn’t reimburse me for ATCs if they tried.
I considered spreading the word among the party guests that I was missing some art, if only to make the guilty party feel guilty. Then I reconsidered, though. I thought: If this art was so important to this person that s/he would steal it from my home, knowing that I would notice its absence, well, maybe that’s a testimony to the intense connection that human beings form with artwork. And maybe it doesn’t matter so much who has those two cards as that they are held by someone who values them enough to violate strong social codes. I mean, yes, that also sucks, but think about it. It’s pretty powerful.
Anyway, I guess this is the price of filling my house with pieces of greatness: Someday, someone might be so drawn to one that s/he needs to possess it, no matter what. That still seems like a small price to pay to live constantly in the midst of beauty and human creativity.
I won’t lock my ATCs down, and I’ll still have parties.
It’s all part of living with art.