Art and the sporting fraternity have an uneasy relationship, usually predicated on a spur of the moment artistic bent, followed closely by the threat of divorce.
There’s nothing sporting-neutrals fear more than a spouse bursting through the door, scanning the living quarters for an appropriate shrine, then nailing some gawd-awful dead thing to a living room wall.
Degas, Gogan, and Van Gogh knew there was no money in immortalizing his Lordship’s catch, so they cashed in on the portrait craze, occasionally painting some fellow bait fishing in the Somme, Seine, or Rhone, but that was pro bono work.
There’s a couple exceptions to the rule; duck decoys come to mind, but only because they depict something living, while the Big Game crowd and fishermen drag bloated carcasses into the living room insisting the lifeless stare of dead animals enhances Puce divans and ancestral china.
A pastoral scene featuring an angler casting flies can pass muster – but it’s unsatisfying as it lacks testimony to our personal skills, which is why the stuff we like hangs in the garage.
I’m thinking there’s a chilling message in all this. It’s unfortunate, but the living critters we’ve spent half a lifetime chasing are prettier alive – which is why the Bible insists Jesu Christo was a fisherman, but lacks a “grip and grin” sketch, no marble saints holding largemouth bass, and little proof other than he could walk on water – a skill only a fishermen would prize.
The DaVinci Code was a work of pure fiction, but is it too much of a stretch that the oppression we face in possessing sporting art might have some secret society at it’s heart?
… and in some dusty vault under the Sistine Chapel, a forgotten trophy might adorn a small alcove – proving John the Baptist was a fly fisherman – and the baptism ritual was developed because both the Tigris and Euphrates were a sumbitch to wade in sandals?
Thin. Really thin.
The whole religion thing has me wading a slippery slope, but after seeing the mosaic unearthed by Buster Wants To Fish might some canny fellow have retouched other relics under the direction of a shadowy splinter society?
Add the good nun, Dame Juliana Berners to the legend of the Holy Grayling – and I’m hearing black sedans in my driv