Anyone who knows anything about TV will no doubt be aware that there is a network called Home and Garden Television—hereafter referred to as “HGTV”—on which there is a show called Property Brothers. The titular brothers are attractive dark-haired male twins in that vague late thirties-early forties age range who possess some talents for home improvement and real estate. The plot, such as it is, of each episode is that the brothers help two people engaged in some type of relationship to purchase and then renovate so-called “fixer-uppers”—the kinds of houses that you think are gonna be fun to remodel but quickly end up being a pain in parts of your body you didn’t even know you had. This is all I know about the subject, and, as it happens, all anyone needs to know in order to read the inevitable fanfiction this show has spawned. For your entertainment I dived into this small (but not as small as you’d think) corner of the Internet, and I will present my findings to you now.
Originally published in the College of William and Mary’s Acropolis Art Magazine’s 2012 issue
What creates what, the creation or the creator? The division between the artist and their work blurs like that cold winter morning Michelangelo died over his canvas, spattered in paint. To create is madness, an inner drive that too often is inexplicable. Art has no immediate benefit: it will not clothe or feed you. Yet we create to express ourselves, to convey ideas words cannot capture.
There is something in art that is Lovecraftian: grand, majestic, and horrifying. From William Blake’s impossible figures to the Dadaist’s upside-down urinal, art often seems tainted by madness. Sometimes it proves a point, other times it is elusive. Is traditional art an anachronism in an age when man should have surpassed crushed pigments and the horsehair brush? Some debate its utility. But an impulse, perhaps divine, always drives us back to the canvas. Art is an ongoing story, told by a thousand hands. It claims new disciples. It endures.