Reclining Nude, Oil on Canvas 24"x48"

Reclining Nude, Oil on Canvas 24"x48"

Sometimes you’re sitting in front of your easel, painting an innocuous summer landscape, and you realize It’s just going nowhere. It’s starting to look like the stuff your fourteen year old cousin did when she first began to grasp the fundamentals of perspective and blasted your five year old ass and your box of crayons out of the water, but it’s still stuff a fourteen year old could cough up .

So you have your third beer, and you stare at it for awhile. By the fourth beer, you know precisely where this thing is heading. Yeah. To hell with a landscape. This is a nude. The fifth beer makes you realize you must tread carefully, lest you sin by objectifying the female figure. The first glass of red wine lets you off the hook, though, because Picasso objectified women all the damned time, and so did,  er, whatshisname.

Your wife wakes up to go to the bathroom. “She’s gonna love this damn thing.” You think. She walks past you and says, “Yo tits!”

I don’t know why I stuck with this painting. It’s now clear to me I was deranged somehow, but at the time I was determined to shop this sucker around. It hung for a little while at an Art supply store, where they liked it for its simple effrontery, and gave it back to me when the shock value was gone. Then I was invited to a combination wine-tasting and art party, and I brought ” tits” along. I overheard some of the attendees refer to it as “Biedermeir Pornography”, and was as stung as a man at a party with free food and beer could be.

Its next to last venue was a coffee shop I liked because you could go sit and draw or read without being disturbed, or you could talk to the drunks who would come in to drool over the pretty Goth barristas. One of the girls was on an extended break from art school, and she graciously let me hang the painting amid the sixties consumerist bric-a brac they decorated the place with. It stayed there for awhile, despite the fierce objections of one of the drunks, who apparently started yelling about it one day, “You can’t show nasty ass stuff like that here! Somebody’s fuckin’ young’uns ‘ll see that shit. It’s just motherfucking sick!” The proprietors tried to reach some accomodation by moving a giant spray-painted Cupid lamp in front of the bush. But I knew the by the way people shook their heads at it, it was distracting them from the dildos that were on sale at a counter nearby, and therefore diminishing sales; so I removed it.

As I walked it out to the car, sucking wind, a couple of pierced kids asked me, ” You buy that? ”

It was my last chance to salvage something from it. “Yeah man. Got a deal on it too. There’s a guy in New York who just loves shit like this. He’ll give me eight grand for it.”

“Awesome.” they said.