I noticed that the young men all have shaved heads, but I didn’t think they had anything to do with me. I was at a red light and they were packed in the car behind me. I checked the rearview mirror to see how my son was doing. He was happy in his carseat, close to dozing after a busy morning.
It was a cold, gray day. The young men behind me caught my eye. The driver was climbing out his window. He wore a leather jacket and tight tee-shirt–just like the rest of them. He balanced on the edge of the window, pitched forward, and spit on my car. The young men all laughed.
The light changed. I went straight, worried they would follow me, wondering what I had done to get their attention and if they’d seen my son. They turned left.
One friend suggested my bumper stickers were to blame–Eve was framed, Happy Naked Pagan Dance, and a circle/slash W. Perhaps. But the image of that young man spitting at me unsettled me for the entire day.
I’m okay with people not liking my work. Sure, I worry about it, but it doesn’t keep me from writing or making art. But as I get closer to this art festival, I do wonder how I’ll react to mean or ignorant comments. Some people really do take personally work they don’t like. If I don’t like something, I move on. What is it with people who get angry as if the artist/writer has no right to exist. What is it about another person’s creative efforts that angers them?
Have you ever reacted angrily to a work of art? Or ever had someone respond that way to your work?