One painting I liked was a real flower on a painting of a present. It looked like a Jackson Pollock. Alisha told me her friend Nichole MacDonald had created it. When Nichole showed up, we talked a little about art. She had a lot of interesting stories about a variety of topics. But I'd had a migraine that morning, and my medication had me in a funk. I wasn't taking notes. I just hoped I'd remember stuff as I sat down to write this. Unfortunately, I can't remember a thing she told me.
Looking at her painting reminded me of a recent story where a woman bought a Jackson Pollock painting at a thrift store for $5. It didn't fit in the trailer she lived in, so she left it outside. Someone saw it and thought it might be a Pollock. It was. She then sold it for millions. Her neighbor was mad, since it was given to her as a gift. She didn't like the painting and had returned it to her friend. The moral: Never look a gift horse in the mouth. And never give a bad painting back without first going onto eBay.
I suggested that if we wrote some famous artists' names in the corners of some of this bad art, it would quickly be considered good art. I've said for years that abstract art was just a big sham.
One of the guys who helped get this event going was Jamie Bacher. He and Alisha hit many garage sales in order to get some of the paintings. I heard Jamie telling one guy, "I love fish. But not in art. Fish in an aquarium are nice. Fish on my plate at dinner. But I don't like fish in art." The painting he was looking at was bad. I also found out that this art show was originally going to be at Jamie's place, but they didn't think they'd have enough room. So they had it at the Actors Alliance on Adams Avenue. They were charged $15 an hour.
There was a donkey picture that said "5 pesos an ass." I also saw a poster of a bullfighter getting struck by a horn that was an advertisement for a hotel chain. They actually bought that from the hotel for $5.
There were two pairs of jeans with paint all over them. Someone told me, "Those were my friend's. He actually wore those to work, and that's how they got that way."
As I was looking at the jeans two guys passed me. One said, "I might buy those if I knew the size. I want to make sure they'd fit." His friend said, "Did you see that painting of Jesus blessing the semi? Maybe the trucker was on a mission from God."
I saw a few plastic masks on the wall. I asked Alisha about them. She said, "They were at the 99 cent store, but I talked them down to 50 cents."
I went outside to smoke a cigar and was talking about movies with some guys. One of them had just gotten back from England, where he saw Christian Slater in a stage production of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. The next day, I read in the paper that Slater's bodyguard was stabbed by a crazy fan after one of the performances.
A few people were going to the Ould Sod down the street for a beer. We were drinking wine (and I kept wondering if the cops driving by would do anything), but we decided to also head over to the Sod. I felt bad for Jamie and Alisha and everyone else who had to take everything down and clean up the place.
A lady named Sara who I met at the party told me she was the karaoke queen of Texas. She actually won that title in a competition. I asked what was the prize and was told, "A $75 bar tab." I got to hear her sing "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" before going home.
I went to the gallery for the actual bad art show weeks later. It was in North Park at the Acoustic Expressions store on University. It's a music store with a big warehouse area. They donated the space.
Alisha said, "Let me show you a few of the new pieces we got." One was a naked woman eating an apple painted onto a mirror. Alisha laughed and said, "You missed our live auction. We had a broken Slinky that didn't have any bids. Once we started the live auction, there was a small bidding war. It started at a dollar, and two people were going back and forth. It ended up selling for $10."
Later I saw the girl walking around with this tangled mess. I said, "What are you going to do with it? Are you going to try to fix it? Are you going to display it somewhere?" She just laughed.
Alisha spotted an ugly jug and decided that since it didn't have any bids, she'd do a live auction. It was a yellowish color, with pearls around it. Alisha said, "Who knows? These could be real pearls. And the person at the thrift store who sold it to me told me it was on the set of That '70s Show. It was an episode that never ran." Everyone laughed. A woman bought it for $19. Alisha said, "Maybe I should take the price tag off it so you don't know how bad you got screwed."
I was told they had gone to garage sales that morning to look for Christmas lights to hang up. They ended up finding boxes of lights for $6. They also found a homemade lamp composed of different pieces of bent-up metal. Colin, one of the guys I talked movies with at the last party, told me, "It was embarrassing, because the woman who made this lamp was selling it to us. We didn't want to tell her it was for a bad art show."