Since I seem to be on a roll discussing my bad art collection, I might as well give you a peek at a few more of my pieces. Admittedly, the works highlighted today are not as life-altering as the others have been, but each has its own charms, for lack of a more precise word.
Today’s first piece is brought to you by the letters K and A and the number 2. Why the obscure Sesame Street reference? Because I can only hope and pray that this piece was done by a child:
"All Mimsy Were the Borogoves"
Even though you can’t tell from the photograph, the wall in the guest bedroom where this piece hangs is light blue. I have no idea why my phone camera is not accurately reproducing the blue of the wall. If this were a REAL art site, I’d be concerned.
This piece makes me really happy, mainly because the horses seem to be absolutely at peace with just being horses. They’re not worried about the pink-eyed beast (which, I’ve got to note, is easily as large as them) lurking in the copse ahead. And what are the white things on the beast’s face? Teeth? Whiskers? Foamy slobber? (Yeah, ugh.) I’d love to ask the artist about it. But, alas, I don’t know who created this semi-wonderful work.
In fact, other than “The Centurion,” “It’s My Tern” (which I’ll show you in just a few moments), and one other piece that I’m saving to reveal later due to its utter ghastliness, none of the pieces in my collection are signed. In a way, this is a good thing, in that nobody can actually be held responsible for creating these artworks. But it’s also a little disappointing, in that I’m not able to promote the work of these artisans who, in most cases, put a lot of misplaced energy and passion in creating these objects d’art that now decorate my home.
The next piece is really not all that awful. My mom came to visit one day, and she remarked that this next piece wasn’t really bad…it was just a bit primitive. I see her point, but I also think that the piece is a rather poor primitive. Judge for yourself:
"The Old Homeplace"
The artist of “The Old Homeplace” seems to have seen Bob Ross make some happy little trees before, and that lesson seems to have been learned pretty well. Unfortunately, the artist seems unfamiliar with how steps work, and he or she has also apparently forgotten that most houses have doors to let their inhabitants in and out. Other than that, though, it’s not too bad of a painting. I also like that there’s a fence but no walkway nor even a path to the missing door. Of course, that may explain both the missing door AND the missing walkway/path. This piece just gets curiouser and curiouser.
The third item in my gallery showing today is another painting that’s not horribly bad, but there’s something about it that’s just not right:
"It's My Tern"
As you can see, it’s certainly not the worst piece in my collection, but there’s something about it that’s just…off. I think that it has something to do with the bird, which looks a lot more like a chicken than the artist probably intended.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, this piece, while not signed, has some pertinent information on the back of the painting. Here’s a photo of what’s written there (click on the photo for a larger image…and please forgive me my lack of photographic skill):
So, that explains the who, when, where, and what, but it doesn’t explain the most important question–why? Something else interesting about the back of this piece is that it has a selling price written on it. As to whether this piece sold at that price, or whether that was wishful thinking on the artist’s part, I’ll never know. But here’s what’s written in the top-left corner on the back (or the bottom-left corner if you’re looking at the back from the…oh, you don’t care, do you?):
Wow! That may not seem like a lot of money for a painting of this caliber, but that’s 1973 dollars. Adjusted for inflation (thanks to The Inflation Calculator), this painting would sell today for $169.81! Not that I’d be able to get that for it, but, then again, I doubt that the artist would either.
The last piece in our mini-tour today is my favorite of the batch. It’s not currently on display in my house, as I can’t find the perfect (or an even vaguely adequate) spot for it. I call it “Fearful Symmetry,” for reasons which I feel are painfully obvious:
My best guess as to how this piece came to be is that the artist had learned about symmetry and wanted to put it to use. While the background is not entirely symmetrical, pretty much everything else about the piece IS. Two deer, posing for the viewer, both with the same coloration and markings (even down to their antlers), each standing both in front of and behind three examples of some sort of winter-flowering vegetation. It really is breathtaking, in the way that causes your lips to turn blue and your vision to go splotchy.
But, for me, there’s an even more exciting aspect to the painting than its symmetry, and that aspect would be the material on which it’s been painted. When I first saw this piece, I thought, “Surely this hasn’t been painted on a cabinet door! Who would be so desperately in need of expressing himself through art [N.B.: In this case, I’ve got to assume that the artist is a guy] that he would use a cast-off cabinet door?” The answer to that question is, well, this guy, for one. Still hoping that I was wrong, I turned the piece over to check for tell-tale cabinetry clues, and this is what I found:
If you’re saying to yourself, “Hey, that looks like a felt pad that’s used to keep cabinet doors from being so loud when they’re shut,” you’d be absolutely right. That there were two of these on the back, both on one side, one each at the top and the bottom, cemented my case. But there was yet another clue to be discerned, and I found this one while admiring the unique form of picture hooks that the artist used:
For the moment, ignore the pull-tab ring at the bottom of the photo, and direct your gaze to the top right corner. What’s that? Why, it looks like three holes that are in a formation such as one might use to affix a HINGE to a CABINET DOOR! I rest my case.
Oh, yeah, the pull-tab rings. Genius, and perfectly fitting with the tone of the piece.
Next up: Some art that I’ve bought that didn’t end up in the collection.