From 1977 to 2010, I worked in the bar business. Starting as
a bartender, a brief time as a partner/owner, and ending up keeping books to
give to an accountant until I drank myself out of a job. I didn’t think this
was actually possible given my observation of the nature of the business! My
thinking at the time was fairly skewed, due to a condition I had put myself in.
My departure was inexplicable…to me. Oddly, losing my most consistent source of
long time income turned out to be the luckiest accident of my life.
The bar business had given some of the best times of my
life. I felt “entitled”. Imagine being a 27 year old kid, surrounded by every
incredible vice available. I took advantage of all of it, not ever thinking
that was anything but normal.
Through all those years,
Peaches was there. A beautiful, large, oil painting of a classically
treated reclining nude. She was painted in the very early 20th
century by an artist named Wilhelm. The bar owner had acquired her, and given
her center stage in his first tavern.
Very early in the bars continuing run, a not-so-satisfied
customer put four bullets in the painting, missing any part of Peaches’ anatomy, (not to mention the
people present at the time).
As the years went by, the number of eye witnesses to the
event grew dramatically.The caliber of
gun, the number of holes, the description of the shooter, took on a pretty
humorous urban mythology.
I’ve wanted to do something with Peaches since the late seventies, but, as my life drawing skills
are pretty lousy, my newly acquired computer hobby lets me
see what I want. I could transpose these ideas into actual paintings, but can’t
think of one reason why! This way, I can always hit “delete”.
If you have any fond memories of what I consider a Chicago celebrity, feel free to comment.
If you have any fond memories involving what I consider a Chicago celeb (Peaches), please let me know in the comment section.
As a kid, I saw a Twilight Zone episode that featured odd looking nurses looking down at their patient. Through the eyes of the patient, (the protagonist).The nurses heads were backlit by a gauzy, light aura. Shortly after seeing this, I had my tonsils removed. My hospital bed was surrounded by tall lampposts. I don't know what drug they game me, but the lampposts became nurses in their Twilight Zone hovering mode. I liked it.
Now, about 55 years later, maybe I'll have another nurse... someday. So I made a painting. Similar feel, but I tarted her up a bit, because that's what I do.
I've been painting chairs for a few decades. Throw paint on a real chair, or do a portrait of a chair, doesn't matter to me. Who the hell knows (or cares) why I keep coming back to chairs? It may have something to do with the fact that I come from a long line of ass-less men, and the comfort of my boney posterior, with it's thin veneer of flesh became important to me at some point. Or, it may have to do with the recent realization that I've been wrong in thinking I painted stuff that looks cool. I'm pretty sure I paint stuff that looks cool TO ME! This idea is well illustrated by my "sales history". Perhaps other men who's pants will never fit quite right will start knocking down my studio doors for the chance to own something I say looks cool. I won't hold my breath. If I do, my trousers may fall.