By Suzy Kassem
The streets would have been empty without him. Without his paintbrush or the liquid rainbows streaming violently from his heart and soul, there would be no color on his neighborhood’s walls or sidewalks.
The kids knew him only as the Wizard, and the Wizard never revealed his true name to anyone. From dusk to dawn, he translated the static in his mind into magnificent works of art — then would disappear back into the hole from which he came from.
Over the course of several years, Wizard’s territory gradually became a super trendy community for artists – who all came from faraway places. Inspired by Wizard’s work, they too created majestic art, and it wasn’t long until the media came to make everyone who lived there super rich and famous.
One by one, each artist reached the stars, and with more time, an unknown stranger came along and claimed he was the Wizard. He was flown all around the world and handed fancy cars, but nobody knew that the real Wizard still lived in his hole like a lizard.
Then one day, a young man noticed a remarkable piece of art, on a now abandoned boulevard, and alerted everyone that the long-gone Wizard had finally returned for a surprise visit.
But in truth, the Wizard had ever left his streets. But since his neighborhood had been overtaken by herds of other artists, his work had quickly gotten lost in the mix. And now that all the other artists had moved away after being consumed by the media circus, the walls were now clear again for Wizard to work his magic tricks.
The young man who spotted the Wizard’s signature, decided to never sleep a wink in hopes of catching the artist for a quick autograph and side-by-side picture. And as he stayed up night after night to get a sight of this super famous guy, he soon discovered the Wizard was actually the weird lone-wolf hipster who had married his estranged sister.
Upon finally meeting the Wizard, the young man promised never to reveal the artist’s true identity, and in exchange he was given a tour of his studio basement. In it, he came across thousands of canvases covered with art and asked the Wizard if he could sell them for a split of the deal. The Wizard told him they were all far from being complete, but added the young man was always welcome to come and sit with him. But over time, the young man’s greed grew out of control, and he stole all of Wizard’s art and spit on him.
Not too long after, colors faded from the streets and Wizard’s veins, and he died in his wife’s arms — taking with him his infamous vision. And now when you ask the kids from way back then, that had now grown up: “Whatever happened to the rainbow magician?”
They will tell you, he now lives in a castle somewhere in Paris …where he paints and sleeps with thousands of women!
– Suzy Kassem, a master at capturing the human condition. © 2011