Flash Fiction: Modern Art

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor


Our first meeting was in an art museum. More precisely, MoMa or the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. MoMA since 1952 has become the home for some of the most significant works of avant-garde painting, sculpture, film, and multi-media art in the world

It’s a place for the art lover and artist to rendezvous at least in spirit. You don’t need to huddle in a group to find a meaning, it’s where lovers of modern art can just be. It’s a sensual and intellectual experience needing few if any words. We get to allow ourselves to recognize talent and meaning – not by our desire to create something more dazzling but by our ability to step back and see and read a work of art shining in all its exquisite colors and patterns with a naked vocabulary between the art and lover.

So, he and I stood side by side trusting in our own minds that we could possibly try and understand what’s outside the painting…and that would have been one of us. I glanced over at him and caught his smile.


“Did you know some paintings contain narratives that can be deeply personal.”

” I did not”

” Yes, it’s possible, just as you and I who are strangers, we are both enjoying this work. It’s something personal.”

“In what way?” I asked.

“Synchronicity…perhaps. Or just chance. Let me introduce myself. My name is Brian Halston, and no I am not related to the infamous Halston. Your name is?”

” Fiona, Fiona Grey….are you visiting the city, or do you live here?”

” I travel here for business. I live in Sedona, Arizona.”

” And your business?”

” Art, Sedona is art, in its own environment. Very eclectic and spiritual. Are you a New Yorker?”

” I am. Born and raised here”

As we moved on together to the next display, I took note of his wedding ring. My mind categorizes married men as gay. It’s easier that way. He’s just a gay tourist with some very blue eyes. Who was I kidding?

“Look at this painting. It’s pretty unique, the colors are vibrant, and for me this looks like lovers distracted”

” In what way?’

” Well, what looks like the male, he seems enamored by what he holds, yet what he is holding is looking the other way.”

” Interesting view” I comment.

” Yes, which way are you looking?”

” Excuse me?’

” Where are you looking? Are you looking at me or the painting?”

“I guess both, since we’re talking to each other about the painting.”

“What do you do? I’m interested in getting to know you, and please, don’t get the wrong idea. I travel here a lot, and it’s nice to make some friends.”

” I’m a writer. I write for a medical journal. ”

We moved on to the next view, this time a little closer to each other and I felt his hand brush mine.