A show

In his studio, the painter would be garrulous and would talk without gesturing, keeping his hand to the canvas and not averting his eyes except to clean his brush. He would speak steadily at any length or fall silent, saying that question is too difficult while I am working, in the same slow voice. In front of the cameras he seemed innocent, and spoke too fast, with sudden facial expressions.

He had been living abroad but had never been able to learn the language. The slight puckering of his upper lip masked his missing front teeth, and his smile exposed them. Between two speeches, a librarian read translated a newspaper review of his paintings from another show, earlier that year, in that country.

The museum director was an old friend from twenty years before. With a yellow face and a great good-natured expression, he begin to sweat as he talked and repeatedly made a one-handed circular gesture. His eyes glittered and it was difficult to follow his train of thought. The mayor nudged his neighbor and started a conversation about food smiling with his blotchy, clownlike face. His belt hung below his large belly.

The museum director said in an almost angry tone, Your attention please, Mister Mayor, who fell silent. But he struggled to regain his balance. It had already been uncomfortable but now you could express it. People checked their watches, they shifted their weight from foot to foot, and their eyes moved around, looking nowhere in particular.

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