Wednesday, May 23, 2007


For the past 3 days, the lobby of my office building has been re-purposed into an art gallery of sorts. Every few months a vendor comes in and sells cheap jewelry, and the management company apparently though it would be a good idea to branch out and rent the space to an art company on a temporary basis.

The "art" for sale consists of about 2 dozen oil paintings, most of which would not look out of place in a typical Holiday Inn room. I suppose the target demographic is your average white working woman ranging from 35-55 years of age, (also the type that tends their jewelry on their lunch break at work in 6 month intervals).

Up until today I have been able to keep my comments to myself, which I had been doing out of concern for offending any of my co-workers that might have an interest in such bland bullshit, like pictures of tulips or puppies, (both of which are for sale).

But after coming back from lunch and observing 3 white middle aged female worker bees rubbing their chins while staring in earnest at an oil painting of a cottage that even Thomas fucking Kincaid himself would not hang on his wall, I reached my breaking point. Of sorts.

The sarcasm started oozing out and I remarked to one of my co-workers that I intend to buy the 18 X 24 color photograph of a Ferris wheel and hanging it over my bed, (I titled it "Mommy, Please Make it Stop").

The 20 X 36 oil painting I titled "The Loneliest Sunflower" that I've been forced to contemplate while waiting for the elevator was daring me to plunge one of my size 12 Kenneth Cole's through it's barren landscape. Of course, being the sensible person that I usually am I caught myself and thought of better ways to terminate my work related stress, like blogging!

Another one of the minor masterpieces available for purchase, is a 20 X 20 oil painting of a what appears to be a doe eyed 4 year old boy. Who on earth anyone would buy and than hang a picture of a random 4 year old that they share no relation with on their wall? John Wayne Gacy? And the 4 year old has those creepy Jesus eyes that seem to follow you no matter what angle you're looking at it. I titled this picture "Face on a Milk Carton".

Art is obviously subjective. And while I don't have an art history degree nor pretend to possess any great knowledge or understanding of the art world, I did spend 5+ years framing art in a part time capacity. My experience has taught me that most people seem to want art that complements their drapes or carpeting. This conversation is an amalgamation of many I had to endure when helping clients choose framing:

Vapid Rich Client: "Hmmmm, do you have anything in a chrome finish"?
Me: "Uh, I'm not sure chrome will work with the predominant green and brown tones in this image."
Vapid Rich Client: (now rubbing chin) "...but my furniture is chrome colored, it has to match my end tables..."
Me: (now rolling my eyes) "I would really suggest going with an earth tone or--"
Vapid Rich Client: "That won't match my entertainment unit!"
Me: "Oh, certainly not, no! We have a lovely mirrored finish on this frame..."
Vapid Rich Client: "Perfect! Can I use this coupon?"

There are more than a few people that have pictures that I framed hanging on their walls that, if they peeled the craft paper off the back of the would find the words "stupid bitch!" or "rich asshole with more taste than money" scrawled in black marker by yours truly.

Perhaps I'm not the proper arbitrator of taste, as I have this hanging on the wall in my dining room:

That's "Bill". My roommate and I created him over the course of 3 months, (btw, she used to be my manager at one of the frame shops I worked at). We discovered Bill while pulling apart an old picture that needed to be fixed, so we kept him and surrounded him with images cut out of various newspapers. If memory serves Bill was started out of a sense of outrage just before the onset of the Iraq War, but it devloved into a collection of random and bizzare images. His prominent postion in our aprtment is due not out of any deep truth he represents, but rather a of nostalgia...I think.

I'm not sure what was going through my head when I made this, but I'll title it "Stoned at the Frame Shop":

The masterpiece collage we once made is titled "Meat Monkey" and consisted of pictures of meat cut out of grocery store circulars and arranged to make an image of George Bush's likeness. I'm not kidding, it really looked like him. It was given to my Hippi/PETA friend and resides in her VW Bus.

I really need to make a Jerry Falwell collage.


redgalaxoid said...

I'm an art student, and I hate when people think I'm a decorator. More than one time, my parents have asked me if some cheap painting they bought should go over the fireplace of in the dining room, saying "you study art, where do u think it'd look better?

Silly Billy said...

Every morning while entering my building, I get to stare at an artists rendering of what they percieved the inside of a Jawbraker looks like if it was cut in half. Woo hoo.

Anonymous said...

Goddamn....I love the MeatMonkey. It really does look like President PoopyHead, Folks. It is one of my most prized belongings. Hands Down. Hey, J.E., why don't you post that awesome piece of work I made for you oh-so-long ago? Now THAT is art...



"Stoned at the Frame Shop" makes me want to have gryros.

Extra sauce please.

JUSTIN said...

Just for the record, that awesome piece of art enjoys a prominent position on my fireplace mantle. To this day I still can't drink Killian's Irish Red.

Anonymous said... and psylocibin. The meal of true champions. It still makes me want to tee-tee myself when I think of that night.