Friday, May 12, 2006

Found Items Part II

"Awesome" is such an overused word that I don't use it in my daily conversation. Still, there are things that fill me with some awe when I see them.

That's the case with the two paintings I found at a thrift store a few years ago.

There are websites devoted to thrift store art. One of the best I've found is which has some truly oddball pieces.

My additions to the collections of awful (not awesome) art are by the same anonymous artist, who went crazy with an impasto technique. I use the word "technique" but I dunno...I'm not sure that dolloping on 1/2" of paint to build up texture is really a technique, but it makes for some interesting 3D effects.

Click here for larger image. "Big Pink." Unsigned, undated. 12"x16", oil on canvas.

The first painting is one I call "Big Pink," in memory of The Band, and for the house plopped into the middle of the nicely landscaped yard. The doorless mailbox, incongruously big, lumpy and yawning open, waits for a postman to fill it with some really large packages. Maybe art supplies! The driveway, without a sense of perspective, drops off like a waterfall. I have to give the artist credit for his/her impasto work on the tree blossoms and leaves, which are really built up. Hell, they are sharp! I have to be careful not to cut my fingers on this painting.

Click here for larger image.

"Monster Children." Unsigned, undated. 10"x13", oil on canvas.

This painting I call "Monster Children Playing On The Lawn." Consider these poor deformed creatures, forced to play by themselves in the yard. No faces, misshapen bodies. And their toys? Some sort of shepherd's crooks, two of granddad's canes, or are they golf clubs of some sort, maybe a wood? and what looks like a pumpkin resting on the grass. Maybe they're playing a game named after their favorite band, Smashing Pumpkins, and we are observing them just before releasing their hostilities.

Really bad art has a charm of its own, because its creator is working out some sort of personal vision and has no talent whatsoever to back it up. You gotta give credit for effort, but zero points for execution. Some people who have done outsider art have become famous. I'm not holding my breath that this anonymous artist will ever be drawing crowds at SFMOMA, but I've got to admit the prices on these pieces were definitely right: $1.00 apiece! Easily an awesome bargain.

Ciao for now, El Postino

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