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Theatre / Art

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"Art" is a 1994 play by French playwright Yasmina Reza, author of God of Carnage.

Marc, Serge and Yvan are longtime friends. However, things start to go sour when Serge spends two hundred thousands francs on an artwork that's just a white-painted canvas. Marc doesn't take it so well.


"Art" contains examples of:

  • Batman Gambit: Serge knew that the felt-tip pen ink was washable, and he deliberately lets Marc deface the painting with it.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: While Yvan is holding a gauze to his forehead wound, he sees a rat running through the room. Serge says that it comes once in a while. It's never brought up again.
  • Black Comedy: A staple of the playwright, Hilarity Ensues from adults acting like children.
  • Butt-Monkey: Yvan.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Marc sees his relationship with Serge as a very twisted version of this trope.
  • Insistent Terminology: Serge wastes no words in explaining how his painting is not just "white".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Some print editions of the play feature a white-painted canvas on the cover, credited to "Antrios" and belonging to a private collection. Antrios is the (fictional) artist who is the author of Serge's painting in the play.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The proper title of the play is "Art", quotes included.
  • Minimalism: Minimalist Cast, and only one set as stark as possible to represent the homes of all three characters. The only thing changing from one scene to another, to show whose home is it at the moment, is the artwork on display.
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    • In-Universe, the same artwork at the centre of the dispute can be said to belong to the Minimalist genre.
  • Only Sane Man: Deconstructed. Yvan tries to act like this between Marc and Serge, but given his personal problems, his fragile psyche and his constant belittling on the others' part, he ends up having a Heroic BSoD.
  • Tranquil Fury: Marc catches a felt-tip pen Serge has tossed him, and calmly draws a skier on the painting.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The main story involving the three friends is shadowed by Yvan's struggles with organising his own marriage.
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