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Not many accountants were artists in history...

Updated: Mar 18, 2023


Few days back, I came across a video of some experiment conducted by Paytm. Of course, there are a whole lot of open questions about the sample chosen for the experiment. The subjects were likely to be their employees. Hence, there is no reason to believe in the authenticity of the whole experiment. But it appealed to many women. Paytm projected the whole thing as if it was trying to highlight some dark recess of the society so far overlooked. In reality, I must say that the whole video is a smart marketing stunt to capture attention just like Dali did in America.

In this experiment, the participants were asked a barrage of questions about their capabilities. The capabilities ranged from ironing clothes to making breakfast and so on. Frankly, while watching it, at some point, I was panicked because I never knew that I had to learn so many things to remain alive in this world. But how strange! Without knowing the endless list, I survived for a little more than 50 years already! Perhaps, had Paytm told me about such litany of tasks to master, I would have turned into a zombie before I started living life.


In this occasion, I remember a story. Once someone asked a centipede, how it walked with multitude of legs! The centipede asked for a few minutes to think. And after that, the centipede could never walk again!


So, Paytm played exactly the role of the one who asked the question to the centipede.


Anyhow, jokes apart, the point of the experiment was different. As it progressed, the questions turned into financial ones. For example, 'Have you ever purchased a life insurance policy on your own? Do you know what SIP is? Do you file your own income tax?' And so on.


Most women failed to say YES to such financial capabilities. Most men said YES. So, the conclusion was easily drawn to a cliched direction of women lacking economic independence. Well, maybe that is partially true. But there is a much deeper aspect hidden into it than being smart or unsmart in financial matters. It is way beyond being a victim of male domination!


Being in the thick of the world of emerging artists, I come across many talented artists on daily basis. Interestingly, more than 80% are women. Now, should I conclude that women enjoy a higher faculty of creativity? Perhaps yes. This is the reason, the entire surrealist movement revolved around women. I shall share a painting of Rene Magritte, The hidden woman. This appeared in the last issue of La Revolution Surrealiste in 1929.

If you notice closely, something strange is there. Of course, there is this woman looking away, but around her, there are portraits of the male poets and artists of surrealist movement. Each of them is in a trance-like state with their eyes closed.


The very spirit of surrealists was to sink into the unconscious of the mind. And women led them to the mysterious cornucopia of the unconscious. Why? Because the woman had the key to enter the door of the unconscious. The woman was the resident of the unconscious. The woman only could teach the man to shake off the frets of the materialistic prison of daily mundane affairs and walk into the unknown of the unconscious.


In fact, often in Surrealistic paintings, women had been shown without the head. But men followed her in complete submission. This was to convey that the woman held the spirit of the unconscious whereas men had to discard their conscious self to be able to follow the woman into the richness of the depth of mind.


I referred the above painting to explain that it was realized long ago that the faculty of creativity is much stronger in women than in men. After all, nobody can deliberately be creative. Of course, in corporate world, often there are days allocated to creativity. Executives gather and clock themselves with coffee and biscuits for eight hours to churn their creative spirit. Naturally, they emerge empty handed.


But having a faculty and being able to express it in terms of painting or literature are two different things. At this point, yes, society comes in picture. For a woman it was and is more challenging to express her unconscious in brazen boldness than that for a man.


Now, think over. Is it possible to be an astute accountant and at the same time a super-creative artist or poet? Probably no. Of course, an accountant can master plenty of skill for art but the creative aspect will falter necessarily. The men in the experiment knew a lot about BONDS, STOCK, SIP, OPTIONS, DERIVATIVES, TERMS AND CONDITONS OF INSURANCE POLICIES, but definitely lacked creative spark. Or I shall say, those men and women who lacked the above mentioned expertise, would have been more creative by nature. Both can not go hand in hand. It is nothing to do with gender really.


I know a friend of mine who happens to be a renowned psychologist and a story-teller. Her husband had decided to take voluntary retirement many years ago to pursue his own interest. Hence, the main earner of the family is the woman. Her earning is handsome. She hands over most of the money every month to her husband because the husband has the knack for investment here and there. The woman remains busy in her exploration of human mind. What is wrong in this? It is just a sharing of responsibility based on who enjoys what.


But yes, all households are not like that. There are places where the one who controls the affairs of money, controls the life of the one who does not control money. But is it a gender issue essentially? If most women are not good enough in handling interest rate and derivatives of financial instruments, or keeping note of the rising real estate prices of some area because of the recent laying of water pipes by the municipality, then they will paint well but will be eventually controlled by the book-keeper husbands.


True that is. You can call it unfair. But now consider the life of any artist, be it a man or a woman. When the artist displays the artworks, the hope is pinned around the person walking in with pocket full of money. And at that point of time, the artist is actually controlled by the one who controls the money. This is the fact of every creative person. Van Gogh was a free soul but of course, if anyone controlled some of his actions, it was his brother who paid for his canvases and paints.


But you see, artists across the world always detested the mundane flavor of money and found creativity at war with the currency. Most artists like Van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani, Chirico and so on had their feelings for the poor and the oppressed of the world. Even the conceptual arts of the DADA revolt were directed at mocking the bourgeoise. But in the end, the irony is, many of their creations are enjoyed by ultra-rich private collectors here and there. The poor can not even lay their eyes on many of their sculptures or paintings. Their works are in the control of the ones who control money.


Particularly, the surrealist band (except Dali) was sympathizer of the communists even though the communists branded them as class-enemies. But you see, their paintings eventually contributed to the advertising world. Many famous and effective advertisements were based on such paintings. Hence, private companies minted money from the paintings of the surrealists who painted for the working class of the society!


In the end, the control is in the hand of the one who controls money. It is not the question of gender. That who is drunk with creative passion, is unlikely to be an astute investor too. Hence, his or her money will be controlled by someone else. Now, it depends, if such controller of money, also controls the life of the creative soul.



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