The astonishing adventures, rise and fall of King Paintin, a visual artist who combines Art with Ethics, at a time when such mix leaves people cold. This all happens behind the scenes of the Italian art system, a microcosm, an aristocratic circle in which one can find all one needs: social status, success, love and money. This story provides a quick sketch, deliberately restricted, through anecdotes based on personal experiences, in which some significant actors are highlighted, providing a gallery of portraits through both writing and painting. In the attempt to explain why, in recent decades, the Italian art system has not been competitive at the international level, people have given the most disparate answers. Leaving aside for a while the nature and production of contemporary art itself, and staying away from the content, we observe that most of the relationships between artists and dealers are not protected by any form of contract, but generally based on a verbal agreement. As we all know, artists without a contract are not taken into consideration by auctions, but if they aren’t at auction, they simply don’t exist. Let's put it this way: Art and the art system is a love-hate relationship!