Alcippe (alcippe) wrote,

Guns and Butter

Back in 2002 I did a series of paintings called "Guns and Butter". They were plain color fields with stenciled objects spray painted on them; the stencils were of things that are glamorous yet bad for us; specifically, guns, wedding cakes, and my old '68 Dodge Polara. It was a pretty nice series, and I had a couple pieces sell.

Pink Magnum was bought by a girl who's father had killed himself with a magnum handgun. She called me up and asked to meet with me at the cafe where I was showing, and we spoke over coffee. When I found out why she was buying my piece I felt awful. I didn't want for her to be reminded of the loss of her father every time she looked at my painting.

But in those days I was desperately poor. So I took the $100 and handed over the painting.

The second painting from that series sold six months later when I showed my work at Around the Coyote. I'd been positioned in a horrible stairwell in a studio about half a mile from the epicenter of the festival, and very few people wandered by to see my work. Generally they were just kids out getting drunk or people who wanted to do something "cultural" but who had no real intention of buying any art. I sat on the hard steps of the stairwell the entire weekend, and endured the awful behavior of the women who's studio it was. They had a tendency to bully in a passive-aggressive way, and in order to keep the peace I'd had to go spend $40 I didn't have on wine and cheese. But I think the real reason they were so mean to me was because I actually sold a piece, and despite all their art degrees, I don't think they did.

A charismatic middle aged woman with a small entourage of family and friends came through on Saturday afternoon and she was immediately taken by Pink Cake. I don't remember if she actually bought it on the spot or if she came back for it the next day, but I do remember that after she made the purchase her son came up to me. "I don't think you know who my mother is," he told me. "She's a big collector. The fact that she bought one of your pieces makes me think I should, too." He told me about how his mother had either helped to found the Intuitive art movement or if she was just a massive supporter of it. In any case, she was apparently a Big Deal.

The part of this story that kills me - well, there are actually TWO parts of this story that kill me - Number One is that I lost the check she gave me for the piece, and Number Two is that I never had a chance to photograph the painting before I handed it over to her.

Two years later I actually found the check she'd written out to me, but rather than cash it or save it or even bother to write down her name, I destroyed it, feeling that it would be rude to cash a check so long after it was written. If only I could go back in time and stop myself from shredding it - I could have at least saved it as a souvenir. But all that's in the past now. Abegetan.


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