The MISSION B.A.G. (Bad Art Gallery) collection

Posted by sfindie December 20, 2018 31371 views


The collection is now over 170 pieces strong!!




L.A. Freeway (A Tangled Web We Weave)

Geri Graeme (2006)

Once a symbol of unstoppable American progress, the Los Angeles freeway system has gone from engineering marvel to avatar of pollution and urban drabness. Drabness, as luck would have it, was Graeme’s emphasis in art school, as this piece blandly shows. Bold brushstrokes simulate the smooth swoops of asphalt, and the color gray simulates the combination of white and black.

-Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




Cotton Candy

Allegra DeLaForet

Rather than waste the euphoria inadvertently spurred by an overindulgence in the sugary treats and gravity-defying rides she found at a suburban carnival, Allegra DeLaForet translated the unfortunate result of same into art. Inspired both by the day-glo colors of the eponymous cotton candy, which exuberantly resurfaced onto the cracked asphalt upon her return to earch, and the smoggy sunset that she had glimpsed at apex of the ferris wheel onto which she had stumbled while under the influence of a substance she declines to identify, DeLaForet used acrylics and gusto (and only those elements, or so we can fervently hope), to spew her metaphorical essence (again, one fervently hopes) upon an unsuspecting public.

-Vera Atwell, Artistologist




My Bestest Buddy, Anthony Kiedis

By Johannes Emerly (2003)

Fan-created art is a rapidly-growing sector in the world of collectibles. When you combine a powerful man-crush with a matchbook drawing-school degree—watch out, world!
Mr. Emerly wished to convey the casual awesomeness of how things might go if the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ frontman came over to your house after school one day. Maybe you’d play some video games. Probably try on some funny hats. And definitely take off your shirts.

-Rollo Grande, Artographer





Magic Red Pajamas (Grant’s Magic Jammy Jams)
Oil on canvas
Grant Covington, 2018

Inspired by a dream shortly after reading James and the Giant Peach and dosing heavily on psilocybin, professional artist, amateur electrician and erstwhile internet conspiracy theorist, Grant Covington spent an entire weekend capturing the dream in 7 sequential paintings. This one, the fourth in the series and the only one not confiscated by the FBI, titled Magic Red Pajamas, known more popularly as Grant’s Magic Jammy Jams, shows Mr. Covington flying over a stone-fruit colored landmass, presumably ejected from a supernatural portal behind him. Shortly before his arrest Mr. Covington made a series of threats and accusations against a number of Hollywood celebrities on his, now defunct, website

Philo T. Carruthers



Breakfast in Bloomfield Township

Famke Baru

Baru, a native of southern Ukraine, emigrated to Michigan in 1991 and immediately settled into a comfortable life unimaginable in her troubled homeland. In 1995 she began painting a series of canvases intended to honor the idyllic suburban existence she had come to treasure. Others in the series include “Shopping for Rubber Bands,” “New Phone Book Arrives,” and “Dusting the Blinds is Better Than Being Shot at By KGB.” The bright colors emphasize how far she’d come from her native country, where green and purple had both been outlawed years earlier.

-Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian


Flowers in a Pitcher in a House Made of Poo Poo

Margaret Anne Cleese, 2015

Oil on Canvas

By the time she could walk, child prodigy, Margaret Anne Cleese had work hanging in galleries. By four and a half she was already a superstar in the art world. Flowers in a Pitcher in a House Made of Poo Poo offers a sharp critique on the world around her. It is a rebellious display of beauty that stands in defiance of the mundane. This still life shows us that life doesn’t have to be so…still. Margaret teaches us the importance of unity while maintaining individuality through the vibrant use of flowers as a metaphor. In her own words Margaret has stated, “to, to, uhm to pick a flower is to really let it die. Do you know that my mommy told me if you put a flower in a pitcher it can last longer. So I put the flowers in a pitcher.”

-Jeremy Talamantes, author of A Five Year Old Could Paint That: The Margaret Anne Cleese Story.




Pantonia #84

Artemisia Bowside, 2012

Acrylic and Sharpie on plywood

As Bowside’s art matured, her commitment to pure color and shape intensified. Abandoning the muted ovoids of her Tête d’Oeuf period (which spanned over a decade and resulted in nearly 180 blank egg-shaped heads), the artist focused instead on the formerly peripheral “paint chip” motifs, inspired by her obsessive haunting of the corner Sherwin-Williams store in Albany, OR, where she became known to staff as “that crazy lady.”. Concentrating on squareness along with tonality, Bowside has manifested a garish yet festive mélange de couleur, a jeweled geometric jumble that transcends the humble hue sampling from which it sprang.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art




Gastric Disturbance

Hope Stephens, 2003

Fingerpaint and fingers on foamcore

In this vivid yet muddied work, Stephens stated that she wanted to make visible the terrible yet geometric discomfort of gastro-esophageal reflux, with red rectangles of pain fragmenting, seemingly multiplying, across the brownish mucosal plains. The rivers of indigo and emerald represent the longing for relief, but succor is denied by walls of pigment. Stephens also stated that she intended to paint an entire series in Pepto-Bismol and one in Mylanta; however, those works have been lost, if they were ever completed. Stephens was a somewhat unreliable commentator on her work and much else: she was adamant that her name always be pronounced “Step-hens,” and insisted that it derived from a medieval ancestor fixated on poultry-crushing.

  • Secret Critic X, A Super Knowledgeable Art Person





Sally Farnsworth, 2015

It is a well-known fact that women’s arms are, on average, 15% longer than men’s arms. This phenomenon is known as Feminine Brachium Longus (FBL). The prevailing theory for this sex-based adaptation was that women needed long arms for gathering food in the pre-agrarian era. Recently, scientists have studied FBL in earnest, and have discovered that women may have longer arms for enhanced intimacy-based grasping, more commonly known as snugglin’.

The artist portrays a fantasy world in which all of the subjects have extreme FBL. One woman runs, in full hug-pose, towards a dog. Another woman’s arms extend past her knees. What would it be like to live in a world where everyone was capable of extreme snugglin’? Farnsworth allows us entry into this wonderful world.

-Tiffany Harker, Artistologist




Onderbewustmetro Mappen Ding

Selene Van de Ezel, 2007

Graphite and beet juice on butcher paper

On loan from the Museeum Antwerpse Treinen Rijden de Baan Op

Van de Ezel has rapidly become one of the foremost European exponents of impressionistic transit mapping with erotic overtones. In Onderbewustmetro Mappen Ding, she creates a phallic dreamscape of Manhattan, shaded with delicate chevrons on the uptown side, disintegrating into faint echoes of contusion and trauma in the bulbous downtown end. Subway lines are only hinted at here, but the overall channeling of energy into demarcated districts, with only one lone bridge between downtown and the squiggly tortoiseshell of Brooklyn Heights, does capture the torment of the vexed commuter.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art



Moonlight Mistress (For Abigail), 1995

Kentucky O’Beeffe

Acrylic on Canvas

In the mid-1980s, Bud “Skip” Jerrycorn’s use of trompe l’oeil had reached an apex as magnificent as it was troubling. His achievements are most aptly reflected in the stunningly hubristic work for which he is best known: a scrolling canvas ceiling painted with various weather scenarios installed in an indoor fútbol arena in Belize where it was frequently manipulated to influence games’ moods and outcomes solely in the home team’s favor. Fans will never forget the seemingly magical rainbow that emerged from what had been a sky of ominous gray at the precise moment that hometown favorite Mario Villanueva kicked a winning goal. Nor will they forget the lightning rods that crackled across the sky, as though issued from God himself, during the final seconds of a tense (and losing) match against Costa Rica.

Fully convinced of his paintings’ ability to sway, even determine, the course of history, Jerrycorn began to misuse his powers of trompe l’oeil, employing them for deception rather than delight. Abigail Van Bailey, Jerrycorn’s one-time protegee and later live-in lover, suffered the brunt of these abuses. Each day greeted her with a fresh illusion that merely highlighted the paucity of affection in their relationship. A bouquet of roses on the duvet after an argument was revealed to be mere watercolor on vellum; a beautiful lavender dress in the closet on the fifth anniversary of their first physical coupling was simply gouache on canvas. When Jerrycorn drugged Van Bailey and transported her limp body to a shed made entirely of canvas painted to precisely mimic the interior of their bedroom (albeit a cleaner version of it), she ended their relationship upon awakening.

Van Bailey scholars identify this as a pivotal moment in the artist’s career and also the last time her whereabouts could be verified. Manitoba, Wales, Zimbabwe, Belize: callers from across the globe called the Van Bailey hotline with supposed sightings. Basset hounds were brought on site and dispatched, though their searches were unsuccessful and often resulted in additional operations to extract the rescuers from particularly tight or challenging passageways. It was not until 1999, in the high deserts of New Mexico, that definitive traces of Van Bailey’s post-Jerrycorn life were discovered among the belongings of the late Southwestern landscape painter Kentucky O’Beeffe. These included early letters from Jerrycorn, a manifesto titled “The Lies of Trompe L’Oeil,” and a faded Boy Scout bandana. O’Beeffe’s Midnight Mistress, a primal and stirring celebration of lunar cycles, is believed to be an ode to all things Sapphic and to her relationship with the troubled Van Bailey in particular.

—Victoria Gannon, Artistologist

The Man in the Hat

Arthur Harris Jr. 1991

Acrylic on canvas

He wears no shirt, so as to bare his soul to the world. The opinions of others weigh heavily upon him like a chain. The sky seems to fall around him, yet The Man in the Hat stands tall in stoic anger. This self portrait of Arthur Harris Jr. depicts the artist wearing a hat he thought was cool around his friends. Critics have often said “He looks like a mascot for Sprite,” and, “What would drive a man to wear such a thing in public?.” No matter how this piece makes you feel, one thing is for certain. That hat is terrible and it really guides the eye, to anything else in a gallery.

-Jeremy Talamantes, former friend of Arthur Harris Jr.




Crooked Horizon, Empty Sea

Bonemia Wallace, 1994

Extra-oleaginous oil, plywood

Typical of Wallace’s mature works, the seemingly vapid composition belies a subtle menace and incipient surrealism. The horizon leans just slightly to the left, a looming slide into mental distortion, a gaslighting assault on equilibrium. The unnaturally smooth floor of the sea cave only exacerbates the growing unease, while the petroleum-black right wall of the cave hangs in a way that defies whatever laws of physics the horizon and cave floor have left intact. Is it a coincidence that the peninsular wall bears a strong resemblance to the southwest coast of Wales? Or is it another dark commentary on the unnerving powers of the Celts to disturb the balance of the mind? As ever, Bonemia Wallace’s work raises more questions than it can possibly answer.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art




Untitled #15

Josher Penh

Copper spray paint and urine

Penh’s use of copper paint and urine was a nod to Andy Warhol, who famously urinated on copper paint to oxidize it and produce brilliant blue tones. Surprisingly, Penh’s urine appears to have turned the copper black, indicating that he is perhaps suffering from Benzoylmethylecgoninuria, otherwise known as “coke piss”

In an interview, Penh said about his work, “Warhol is a personal hero of mine. He had a super awesome warehouse, a really edgy look, and tons of hot women around him all the time. That’s gonna be me someday, because I’m an amazing brilliant artist. Hey, I got a little something special. Want to join me in the bathroom? Also, can you spot me a twenty for drinks?”

-Tiffany Harker, Artistologist




Avoiding Dreams

Mike Lindell, 2002

Procrastination on canvas

Before answering his calling as the Don of Sleep, Mike Lindell was forcing his creativity out in ways that were making him and his family restless. Completely lost and off course of the Lord’s plan for him, this painting is a directly reflecting his lack of direction and focus. Brushes with death are clearly visible in his early 2000s work, as he regularly used painting as an outlet while juggling suicidal thoughts, just before his landmark discovery. In Avoiding Dreams, the only thing that can clearly be seen is the pain and confusion of not knowing what he was doing.

A long talk with God and a brief, heated one with his wife about finances was said to be the catalyst in his visionary dream that caused him to take his enormous Chanhassen, Minnesota art studio and convert it to what is now a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the highly successful MyPillow®. There are some seriously great deals on their website and it’s guaranteed if you purchase a MyPillow for yourself, you, like Mike, won’t ever think about this painting again.

-Jordan Cerminara
Private Collector/MyPillow Advocate




Heliotrope Revelation

Shawna Sanderson, 1987

Oil pastel and gesso on a board

In an enigmatic exploration of the nature of prophecy and spiritual exegesis, Sanderson places an amorphous, even blobby nude on a fluorescing beach towel-cum-pasture, cradling a sacred text of equally indeterminate form. The prophet’s vulnerability and focus antagonize each other: all her attention is on the glacial blue translucence of the divine tablets, paradoxically protecting her flanks from the viewer’s gaze. Our judgment is irrelevant here. Whether the tablets are glass, or sheets of ice, or scraps of fiberglass, or whether they have bear any words at all is also irrelevant; the prophet’s receptivity to transcendental disclosure is all-encompassing. Is the human figuure’s insignificance relative to the blazing cobalts and purples of her geometric environment intended as irony or part of the dissolution of the ego into odd shapes of somewhat pure color? Is that green space a towel or a mattress or an Elysian field? Ugh. Artists.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art





Deist Antipil


Vincent Van Gogh, the dutch post-impressionist painter, is known for using dramatic, and at times impulsive brushstrokes in his paintings. When some artists might have held back, Van Gogh went all-in. A colleague of Van Gogh once asked, “sir, are you getting paid by the brush stroke??”. Van Gogh replied, “no, but I have a lot of anxiety”.

This piece isn’t by Vincent Van Gogh, but the artist, perhaps like the master, has a lot of anxiety to work through.

-Tiffany Harker, Artistologist




Tête d’Oeuf II: Lavandou

Artemisia Bowside,1997


Sherwin Williams sample discards on sheetrock

In stark contrast to the anxious anticipation inherent in La Violette, Lavandou radiates a cool serenity, a creamy opalescent self-satisfaction, its ecru paperlike squares a tabula rasa eternally unsullied by the intruding pen of La Violette. Where its twin is bilious, nauseated, Lavandou is untroubled; where La Violette blanches, Lavandou settles into an indolent dreamscape where there is nothing, ever, to get hung about. A zen koan in pastel, the only possible disturbance an aubergine shape at cheek-level, Lavandou intimates that the threat of information overload — only vaguely imagined at the turn of the last millennium — can be mitigated by vapid indifference.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur D’Art




Tête d’Oeuf I: La Violette

Artemisia Bowside,1997


Sherwin Williams sample discards on sheetrock

The immanence of knowledge; the impossibility of verbalization; the darkness of prose, all alluded to by the penetrative nib in the upper right, grey yet incisive, muddied yet crystalline. It is this looming pen, a quill of Damocles that taunts the viewer here, more than even the threatening bruised ovoid of the blank head, the indecisive purples and green of the pain(t) samples against the swirling emetic wall.

Bowside herself remarked that part of the artist’s job was to “put the head onto the dressmaker’s dummy, to fulfill the potential of blankness with an even blanker blankness.” With this and the second panel of this enervating dyptich, she has certainly succeeded.

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art




Madame Shellsenshees
Arthur Kraft, 1937

Desire, love, and trust on canvas

Few artists are born with the essential ingredients needed to create a virtual feast for the eyes. Arthur Kraft was a starving artist in an atypical sense of the phrase–at age 14, he jumped a blue box car heading east to flee his mother’s lackluster cooking. It wasn’t until meeting his lover (depicted) by happenstance on a one-way flight to Paris that he knew he was born to paint. She barely spoke english and mostly communicated with Kraft through her exquisite French cuisine (heavy use on milk, butter, and what is referred to in The City of Love as “sheesmiks”). The passion she put into her food was transmuted into Kraft’s uncanny ability to reproduce micro waves of expression such as this.

-Jordan Cerminara
Private Collector

Jellyfish in the Depths

Jean Du Pont, 1924

Unknown on canvas

Jean Dupont gained a reputation amongst the French Expressionists for painting the world as only he could see it. Dupont also had quite a reputation for never cleaning his glasses. Near the end of his life it is said he would often paint in the dark with whatever substances were near him. Jellyfish in the Depths was one of Jean Dupont’s last works. Many historians believe that it was done with his filthy glasses on and the lights off, while some historians say that it was painted completely on accident. Although not as colorful or intricate as much of his earlier works, Jean Dupont’s Jellyfish in the Depths still begs the question, “Do you think he was awake when he did this?”

-Jeremy Talamantes, author of What ISN’T It: The Life of Jean Dupont.




Just. Can. Not. (Study in Mauve)

Betty MacArthur, 1977

Watercolor and bruises on sad cardboard

The bruised agrarian landscape here offers the viewer literally no way out. There is no road, no pleasingly undulating path, no exit, no escape, no hope. MacArthur followed her Park series of dysphoric children “playing’ on leaden swings with an agricultural phase emphasizing the dreary unfulfillment lurking under the swelling mounds and flowering waves of grass. The stark brown elbow in the foreground seems to ask, “Why? Seriously? What is the fucking point?” The irrationally aubergine sky — or is it a mountain? Or sky? Who cares, really? What was I saying? I am overcome with ennui. Let someone else finish this piece of

  • Jayne Williams, Critiqueur d’art énervé




Adoration of The Great Toe

Theobald the Youngerer

Mid 16th c.

This painting, with its chiaroscuro, intense foreground and sparse background, and pallid skin tones, is typical of early Flemish neurotic realism.

The interpersonal relationships depicted in this painting have been the cause of some debate. Are they family members? Doctor, patient, and insurance adjuster? Or is this an early instance of foot fetishism? Classical podiatry scholar Archibald Huffnagel, PhD. states “toe stank was a pervasive issue in swampy lowlying areas such as the Netherlands during this era. There are two schools of thought about its origins. Adherents of the plein-air school believe that stifling wooden shoes and wooden morality led to plantar turpitude. Most others believe ‘It’s just natural, man. Let it waft.’”

In any case, this painting stands out as a humane and intimate depiction of foot fondling.

-Daniel J. Lipsitt, Artistometrist




The Boy And The Bush (#26)

Janelle Davis, 1998

Acrylic on canvas

Before she made the rear portraits that art aficionados vigorously opine about, Janelle Davis used her little brother, Gregory, as a common subject in her work. Her brother was special, in that he could stare at the bush outside her bedroom window for upwards of 13 hours at a time. Little brother Davis was a peculiar child that longed to physically be more plantlike. His relationship with the shrub shown was so worrisome to their mother that this was the closest he was allowed to be to touching the greenery. This allowed Janelle to hone her craft and master her remarkable ability to capture the backside of the human form. However, Gregory’s relationship with the bush made it difficult for her to maintain a sense of privacy and drove her to graduate from high school a year early so she could move to the city and have her own space.

-Jordan Cerminara

Private Collector




“Our Time is Up” by Thom Berk

Materials: chalk on paper

An empty chair faces a fainting couch. An open chest waits for no one. A table holds flowers but no signs of active life exist. Thom Berk often painted uniquely human scenes but with the humans omitted. In this case, a cozy therapist’s office hosts neither a therapist nor a patient. Perhaps humanity is so beyond help that its presence could only be a waste of time. The inherent loveliness of the sun-dappled room serves as a poignant reminder that a troubled patient would possibly never even notice its quiet beauty. Berk also said he “didn’t draw heads well” so leaving the humans out of the picture just made sense. Other paintings from this period depict unpopulated car washes, reggae concerts, and parent-teacher conferences.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




Shy Wink II

Shep Hoen Jr.


Raw silk and gemstones, oil on hardwood panel

This groundbreaking piece singlehandedly revolutionized the the field of modern art. Both representational and abstract, universal yet highly personal, it presents an enigma that has been tirelessly analyzed and debated by art historians, cultural theorists, and the mainstream public. Incredibly, this masterpiece is Hoen’s only known work. A purported sister painting is believed to have been lost, or possibly destroyed. This painting is on the market for the first time since being sold to an anonymous collector for a record-setting $175.3m. The collector died in a mysterious accident, but reports that this painting is haunted are deemed unlikely by experts.

-Daniel J Lipsitt, Aritstometrist




Shy Wink III

Shep Hoen Jr.


Latex paint on plywood

This piece is perplexing in the depths of its banality– it lacks an identifiable theme or mood, it lacks artistic continuity, and the color choice is predictable, if not Basic. Hoen painted several of these works while in community college, in an effort to “explore spirals and squggly [sic] shapes”. His mother Cindy, was (up until a recent spring cleaning), the sole owner of the collection. Disaster Art collectors will certainly cherish this little lump of coal!

-Tiffany Harker, Artistologist




“The Millionaire” by Roderick Boge

Materials: No. 4 pencil on No. 3 paper

The title of this piece, no doubt ironic, dares us to ask important questions about class, humility, and whether that thing on the right is a boat or not.

Note the fascinating use of negative space: the humble buildings don’t dare reach too far into heaven, because that’s where angels live and they are viciously territorial. The puffy clouds are an illusion of the good life: beautiful, pure, but impossible to touch. They were inspired by “Toy Story,” like much of the artist’s later work (see also: The Hamm Sketches, 1996).

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Self Portrait” by Cristina Hom

Materials: Mixed feelings on toast

Growing up in Albuquerque, NM, Hom was quickly recognized as a prodigy, by the standards of the region. At the age of 16 she produced a striking series of self-portraits, each one depicting her trying to decide what to wear that day. Sometimes the tank top is white; other times, it is black. The background is unchanged: it always looks like the backdrop from school picture day. The drudgery of waking every morning just to cover your beautiful uniqueness with mass-produced clothing is a tragedy of the modern world. Why put ourselves through this wringer, day in and out, she seems to be asking. Why can’t we just be our perfect, naked selves? I have been preaching this for years and am still not allowed on city buses.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





Shea Gingamannia, 2002

Charcoal and Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 25 on canvas

If Yog-Sothoth were a tiny growth of pathetic flowers instead of a concatenation of iridescent globes, stupendous in its gloomy suggestiveness, it would manifest as these Doomflowers. Captured with extraordinarily untethered malignity, the charcoal leaves and sad white petals evoke an eldritch, hideous horror that belie their humble botanical origin. Who dares to pluck this black flower of night? Who would hold this dire posey to his questing nostrils, flaring with overweening pride? Step through the darkling forest, walking to the monotonous, stifled beating of unpleasant drums and the shrill incessant buzz of vile flutes, to come at last to the fatal grove where the Doomflower reaches to the blaspheming, swollen Moon.

-Jayne Williams, Critiqueur D’Art




“Butterball Ambition”

Orson Largy III

Bacon grease and pigment on canvas.

In a clear commentary on the nature of proof, this allegorical painting of Sir Francis Bacon outlining the foundations of empiricism is a whimsical piece of history. By portraying the scientist and statesman as one of his own favored subjects – the famed flying pigs of Great BritainLargy posits that the division between artist and art is meaningless. As a scientist becomes that which he studies, Largy, too, is inseparable from this cheeky statement on the meaning of evidence in modern scientific discourse.

Largy, a lifelong vegan, gathered his materials while weeping from the grease trap of a BBQ restaurant in Temecula. He returns there once a year, to lay roses in memory of those majestic fallen pigs and their tender wings.

-Meg Elison, Art Horologist




Homeland, circa 1888

Thomas Wunders, American 1857-1906

Speckletone, organic cotton thread, calico

In this eight piece in his series My Heart in the Northern Appalachian Foothills, the artist uses natural materials and a simple blocked color pattern to pay homage to the Amish roots of his Pennsylvania hometown that the picture depicts. The sharp rooflines and violently contrasting colors that dominate Homeland are themes seen throughout Wunders’ work during this period, which was defined by his inner turmoil after the tragic loss of his dog in a hunting accident. The appearance of foliage softening the sharp, divergent tree branches in this piece signified the beginning of his healing; similar dulling imagery can be observed in his later pieces in this series.

-Shade Paul, Art Historialist




Vagina Failure #8

Dirk Jøhnsonson

mixed media: oil on canvas, tears


Long idolizing the works of Georgia O’Keeffe Dirk Jøhnsonson embarked on a period early in his career to explore the sexual imagery and female empowerment he found so powerful in O’Keefe’s iconic paintings. Suffering from social anxiety Mr. Jøhnsonson never married, lived a largely reclusive and ascetic life. Artistologists largely believe this contributed to his inability to neither accurately nor metaphorically depict the female anatomy in any way. Artistorians, however, subscribe to the additional theory that he also suffered from the lack of a magnifying glass.

Despite the popular advice that “Practice makes perfect” after nearly a dozen years Mr. Jøhnsonson never achieved critical acclaim. His repeated failures coupled with new digital imaging technologies convinced him to radically change gears and is, today, largely credited with the burgeoning artistic movement known as the “dick pic”.

Philo Z. Carruthers – Artistorian




“Fallen Arches”

Timberly Brunton, 2001

Acrylic applied to black light poster

While entropy is a constant companion through life, it can often feel like a quiet roommate. However, enter any Hot Topic and it goes from zero to mic-dropping, ham-hiding, leotard-wearing dance partner in a heartbeat. And so it was when Timberly Brunton bought a Nightmare Before Christmas black-light poster during yet another going out of business sale in their local mall.

Inspired by this destructive dance with time, Brunton shows us the crumbling epicenter of late capitalism and the hazy distant skyscape of nostalgia. Beneath our heroine’s romantic acrylic veneer we find what lies within us all; the wanton greed of American consumerism and the glowing spectre of Oogie Boogie.

-J.LE. Art Critographer




Good Bird Pretty Bird Finish Your Breakfast (Frankie)

Samuel Handwich

Oil on panel

Abandoned by his parents at age 22, Samuel Handwich was raised by a flock of buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) in the Vic Fazio Wildlife Refuge, a designated Important Bird Area (IBA). He later floated down the Sacramento Delta and returned to human society, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although he never achieved the forelimb dexterity required for writing or using eating utensils, he became accomplished with paint and brush. Handwich eventually came to be hailed as “The Audubon of Vallejo.”

Frustrated by the portrayal of birds in the Angry Birds franchise of video games, plush toys, and movies, Handwich set out to show the gentler, more emotionally stable side of wildfowl. That project reached its pinnacle in Frankie, a portrait of one of his neighbor-birds remembered from his time in Vic Fazio.

From the collection of birdseed magnate T. Boone Peckins.

– Daniel J. Lipsitt, Artistometrist




To Soar, To Fall, To Love Again, 1982

Abigail Van Bailey

Acrylic and canvas

The gray windows of a red brick building greet the viewer in this mid-career painting by Abigail Van Bailey. Van Bailey began painting when her two sons, both Boy Scouts, disappeared from the 1975 Webelo Jamboree (Webelo stands for “We’ll Be Loyal Scouts”) after climbing aboard a green Penobscot 164 canoe helmed by a first-year Scout Leader known only by his first name, Stan.

Bereft, with a surfeit of arts and crafts supplies, Van Bailey, like centuries of artists before her, took to the canvas with paint and brush to express her grief. Her aesthetic language developed rapidly during her time as a student at the Marble Falls Community Center, where she studied with esteemed instructor Buddy “Skip” Jerrycorn, the south Texas master of trompe l’oeil. Departing from her mentor’s provocative style of representational trickery, Van Bailey embraced the building façade as her preferred motif, a poignant and versatile metaphor for her dormant self.

Unlike other works in her oeuvre that assume an unambiguously somber tone (Dead Inside [1979] and I Am Too Old to Have More Children [1979]), To Soar… suggests the possibility of rebirth. A brazen flag waves in the air, as though the artist is announcing to all who will listen: “I am woman. Though I am no longer fertile, I am vibrant and alive.” Some Van Bailey scholars have linked this declaration of vitality to her reputed romantic relationship with Jerrycorn himself, while others have dismissed this as pure south Texas bunkum.

—Victoria Gannon, Artistologist




“What’s the Daffodilly, Yo?” by Buster Rimhaufer

Materials: Watercolor, old contact lenses on canvas

Certain phrases become cliche through overuse, suggesting there may be more truth in the banal than in the strikingly original. So it goes with the visual arts: if you’ve seen too many paintings of flowers, then maybe people should stop liking flowers so much.

There is nothing strikingly original in this piece, a deliberate comment by the artist about the nature of banality itself. Rimhaufer often made this point in his lectures, though he pronounced “banal” to rhyme with “anal” rather than with “canal,” so what the fuck could he possibly know? Rimhaufer eventually quit painting to become a songwriter, setting a Guinness World Record for the most times anyone rhymed “girl” with “world.”

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Pirate Horse”
Sir Douglass Adley, CBE


This autobiographical piece by Adley was completed while a knife resided in his gut. The piece is actually a “police sketch” of sorts as he was kidnapped by this horse when thinking the carriage would taxi him to Buckingham Palace. Instead he was shanghaied upon delivery to the docks. Upon writing his final signature, Sir Douglass succumbed to his wound. Old Hoof Legs was paid off in carrots and apples. Scotland Yard began its investigation upon finding a carrot root at the scene that matched Hoof’s dental records.

– Jasper Cotto, Artistologist




“Ginger Rumination”

Ezekiel Oswald, 1978

Oil pastels on particleboard

In this masterpiece from Oswald’s seminal series “Academia Foreshortened,” the artist explores the evanescence of knowledge, the tropes of Newtonian physics as extruded through the forceful molds of elementary education, and the futility of growing a robust ginger mustache. The blank page tantalizes; the amorphous olive jumper evokes; the apple fails to fall. The mysterious schism in the ginger hairstyle seems to demand that the viewer take sides: a poorly executed ponytail or something more sinister? A poorly healed lobotomy or a psychotic break?

-Jayne Williams, art critiqueur




“This Day’s Keep”

Penfold III, Prince of Gillette


Hide tide, just outside of Gillette, Maine. In less than an hour, the serfs shall enter the waning surf to collect the foamy deposits left in the soapstone tide pools. The foam mongers are of a delicate ecosystem, the gathering of as much foam as possible being paramount. Those with a bigger bucket live just outside the gate of the King of Gillette, bucket size being the ultimate status symbol in the territory. Once the excursions of the day, those oh so monotonous back-and-forths from township to beach, are completed, the peasants can the foamy gains. From the looks of this painting, this day would have plenty of goods for those fancy folks in the big city in need of a close, comfortable shave. The soapstone pools of Gillette, truly the best a man can get.

-Jasper Cotto, Artistologist




“Tucson Atrocity”
The 10th of October Front


Acrylic, bodily fluids, and industrial pigments on Canvas

Another intensely political work by this South Bay artist collective.  Difficult to decode for the observer unversed in “10/10”’s particular visual lexicon and obsessions.  The orange shape in the foreground likely refers to the Umayyad Caliphate and the mountainous shapes that frame are a clear reference to the hill country that was the stage of the Umayyad defeat at the 732 AD Battle of Tours.  Yet beyond these ritualistic themes found in every “10/10” piece, the painting ascends to reassert the quotidian in a backdrop of jugs and plates that shine with the tones of mid-2000’s interior design.  

It is as if the enormity of Europe’s forceful resistance to foreign enlightenment and culture at the dawn of it’s Dark Ages is eclipsed and overwhelmed by a stark ‘sun’ of decorative beige pottery, emphasizing that the title’s playful assertion that the atrocity it refers to is an aesthetic one.

The work has been splattered with unknown human fluids as a transgressive intrusion of the artists’ physical selves into the gallery space and collector’s critical remove.

-August Bournique, Artistologist




“Mourning in Bangor (for Geech)”

Phineas Figaroff

Materials: recycled newspaper (business section), coal dust

Phineas Figaroff was a Sicilian émigré who fled to America to escape the Great Olive Oil Famine of the mid-1960s, which resulted in the deaths of millions of Italians. Settling in Maine, he immediately took to the unique landscape: the grayness, the moisture, the fog; but also the bleakness. After the death of a close family friend in 1984, he painted this unusually idyllic reminiscence of a summer spent on Lake Mapledrip. It was, he recalled, “The warmest summer in Maine history,” reaching temperatures of over 60 degrees. “It seemed that summer would go on forever,” the artist remembered in 1996, adding that it was also the year he first tried horchata. Note how Figaroff painted the seagulls in rich detail, rather than just drawing long lowercase “M”s like most people would do.

-Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Ardiente Ano”

Kaia (presumed Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)


Famous wordsmiths Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway had an absurd and little known rivalry. Upon hearing how much Vonnegut abhorred semi-colons, Ernest took it upon himself to draft a new short story littered with them. Upon receiving it, Kurt went into a good-hearted medium anger. He sent back toilet paper with note attached “I return to you a gift that serves a similar purpose.”

Ernest, ever the prankster, sent a dozen of the rare Spanish flower Ardiente Ano. They were sent with the note “And to you; on these; may you wipe,” noting the suggestive heart of the flower. This painting was found after Kurt’s demise. It is assumed to be a gift to Hemingway, but unfortunately Ernest passed on before it was ever delivered. Ten years after Hemingway’s death, Vonnegut paid tribute to his cordial rival by inking in a drawing of the Ano’s heart in his masterful “Breakfast of Champions.”

-Jasper Cotto, Artistologist




“Hipposcape #293”

Jerminia Howlett, 1993

White clay, wheatgrass, orange and carrot juices, mud, and imaginary pigments on “canvas”

Donated by the Society for Immanent Vegetenary Solipsism

Howlett, perhaps South Carolina’s most prominent practitioner of the pachydermistic nature-morte, hints at the violence and unknowability inherent in a simple stew, with her stabbing carrot-lances aimed directly at the hippo’s heart. The slightly muddied tabula rasa of a hippo cutting board (a familiar motif in Howlett’s later work)  alludes to the shallow waters of the Zambezi in the dry season, the dark legacy of slavery literally whitewashed in the kitchen. The truncated knife lurks in the shadows. Will it finish dicing the carrots, or will the stew remain eternally unrealized? Where does the hippo’s loyalty lie — with the farmhouse oppressor or with the vegetable victims?

-Jayne Williams, art critiqueur




“Poncy Kimono”

Gazza Davies, 2003

Acrylic on Paint-by-Number cardboard

Davies, an autodidact of the Welsh Valleys, delved into the tawdry medium of the paint-by-number genre to produce an Orientalist fantasy of wafting stereotypes and existential bleakness. The robe-flouncing subject’s stylized gestures reveal Davies’s daring ignorance of Japanese culture and costuming, as his one-legged “geisha” totters on a wasteland of industrial sludge — a clear nod to the artist’s hometown of Troedyrhiw. The miasmic cloud pattern also hearkens back to the factory wastes and eternal smogs of pre-late-mechanistic capitalism. The “geisha” of Japanese production teeters on the brink of a toxic consumerist abyss as the stunted cherry tree withers and writhes.

Davies has stated that his Auntie Bronwen was the model for this piece, as she was for his earlier “Flamenco and Chips” and “Kama Sutra Boyos.”

-Jayne Williams, art critiqueur



“The Rice Kernel of My Soul”
Stephen K. Bannon


EST. 9-20 USD

Signed in tears and animal blood by artist

Catalogue Note:

Political operative Stephen K. Bannon is best known for bringing about the decay and decline of United States cultural leadership in the early 21st century, but in the latter years of the 20th, he embarked on a furtive, little known career as an amateur artist.

Nowhere in the present work is Bannon’s trademark bluster and cocksuredness. Instead we find, at his core, an astonishing well of teen angst. The painting is dominated by a vague yet troubling form–a human eye or a crude misunderstanding of the female sexual organ?

Analysis by our experts shows the medium to be corner store tempera paints, human tears (likely the artist’s), and unidentified animal blood.

The words scrawled across the painting speak to the artist’s grave confusion about his own moral core. Curiously, Bannon chose to write in English, rather than his native Ancient Babylonian.

Bannon’s art and personal effects have historically generated strong interest in Russia and China, where his works are ground into a fine powder and inhaled for their purported life-extending properties.

–Evan Wagoner-Lynch, Specialist




“Untitled” (Tree with Birds)

Artist Unknown

Takagawa Shogunate Period (1690-1781)

The Nintendo Foundation Collection

EST. 65,000-90,000 CHF

Catalogue Notes:

The Takagawa Shogunate period is considered by many experts to be the dark ages in pre-modern Japanese graphic art. The pigment wars of the early 18th century resulted in a critical shortage of colors. And Shogun Monzaburo Takagawa (1761-1781), notorious for his many eccentricities, decreed that only paintings of trees with three birds in them would be permitted, on pain of death.

The present work is typical of the period. A slender tree is depicted with three birds. Sixteen cherries are visible in the work–perhaps a clever homage by the artist to Shogun Takagawa’s sixteen fighting fish (the fish purportedly each governed a prefecture during the very unfortunate Years of Fish and Tears.) In Kanji, sixteen can also mean “old masturbating grandfather,” a popular folk name for Shogun Takagawa.

A delightful example of Takagawa Shogunate art, the present work is expected to generate strong interest amongst irritating, Anime-obsessed software engineers.

–Evan Wagoner-Lynch, Specialist




“Death by Carnivorous Love-Me-Nots”

Jeanne Njeri Cugat


A self portrait of three versions of herself, the piece is Cugat’s cry for help. Her three loves all left her in different fashions. The first is red for the passionate affair her love fell into with another woman. She raises her fist in rage at him. Her second had a heart of gold and she grew bored of him, thus the yawn.  

The final suitor, an aristocrat of Monaco, was initially a man too cool to love. Cugat fell totally into the cold arms of his bad-boy persona. They eloped to Brazil and one day he just sailed away… A man of many rings but too vain to bother with putting them on or giving them back. The purple symbolizes the royal aspects of his temperament.

When looking at this painting, one should only think of the consuming dreams of a little girl, on a hillside, plucking away petals that lied when they concluded, “he loves me.”

-Jasper Cotto, Artistologist


“Dung Love Crab”

Ricardo Atenbargo


While Charles Darwin was busy in the Galapagos with the tortoise Harriet and other interesting new creatures, Atenbargo competed with his work in Costa Rica. The rivalry of new life discovery has been forgotten over time with only two exceptions, one being the dung love crab of the Puerto Limon.

Puerto Limon is known for its renowned hills of animal and human excrement, and Ricardo took it upon himself to search for the source. One day while picking undigested berries from the mound, a dung love crab emerged. Adorned with her signature heart, and missing three legs. The dung love crab has a penchant for eating itself when deprived of proper nutrition. This can become a problem as dung love crabs, as Atenbargo once wrote, are “super delicious.”

– Jasper Cotto, Artistologist


My Youngest Twin” (self-portrait)

Cricket Louise Harringford


Heralded at a young age both for her avant garde ideas in both art and science Harringford made great strides throughout her career in both pursuits.  During post-war reconstruction in France Harringford became obsessed with photorealism, and over the course of many years of study slowly perfected her technique.  Soon after learning of the seminal work by Watson and Crick Ms. Harringford herself threw herself into the fledgling field of genetics.  Despite public claims to the contrary, her repeated paintings of her “twin” led many experts to conclude that she had, in fact, mastered human cloning.

– Philo Z. Coruthers, Artistorian


“Dustin Hoffman is Mrs. Butter-worth”

Artemis de los Smith


Smith painted on-set portraits of the Hollywood elite in character all the way up until her death at the age of 26. The freak craft service incident on the Garfield shoot is, to this date, the only casualty by food truck in the history of the Universal Studio Lot.

“Butter-worth” is considered her masterpiece as it is the only existing evidence of that film at all. Dustin Hoffman insisted on chugging syrup for the entirety of the shoot, as method calls for being just like the subject – full of sorghum molasses. The director noted the sugar rush on day one and found it to be a nuisance, but Hoffman wouldn’t budge. Hoffman had an ironclad contract which held the production hostage. This drama, along with the announcement of a competing Aunt Jemima film, caused the producers to abandon the film altogether only six shoot days in.

-Jasper Cotto, Artistologist


“Gonna Cut You”

Jeremy “Jimbo” Marks


Renowned street-artist Jimbo Marks leapt onto the Chicago art scene with his seminal “Snitches get Stitches” and follow-up piece “Stitches (I Meant It)” catching the astute eye of local art critics and Chicago PD alike.  Who was this (at the time unnamed) artist who would so boldly proclaim the harsh nihilism of not just the artist but also the community in which he resided.  After numerous successful pieces (“So Angry”, “Two/Too Loud Voices”, “Can’t Help It”, “Trusty Bladed Retribution”) being ingeniously displayed around the community walls, storefronts, and bus interiors, Jimbo Marks’ identity was finally revealed to the public (Docket #1991-L-10789).

While on parole Mr. Marks began a serious study of artistic techniques which he widely credited with managing his anger and being a form of therapy. Thus began a series of more conventional works with paint and canvas, though the subject matter was as avant garde as ever.  In “Gonna Cut You” Marks invites us to question who is “you”?  Is this a painting of someone who will be cut, or someone who will do the cutting?  And in this way he draws his audience into a fraught question of their own agency and place in the world.

Only recently has it been discovered that this is actually a portrait of his estranged paramour Leslie Hall Turner.

– Philo Z. Carruthers, Artistorian


“Black Heads & Fake Lashes”

Sylvia Dickinson


Dickinson is a shut-in somewhere in the United States. Clues in her work hint to a life in the southern part of a Northern-Midwest state east of the Dakotas. Dickenson mostly painted her friend Mary Lawrence, a parrot linguistic coach. On the date of this painting, Mary had ingested psilocybin mushrooms and was doing a shadow puppet revue of A Chorus Line.

Dickinson took advantage of the musical fixation, capturing the dilated pupil of her chemically altered friend. Ever the perfectionist, Sylvia counted the blackheads hiding amongst Lawrence’s freckles and flawlessly reproduced the pattern. Dickinson unfortunately missed an opportunity to complete the Little Dipper of pimples across her subject’s nose as she started the painting a little too far over. This was at the peak of what most critics consider her “violating personal space” period.

– Jasper Cotto, Artistologist


“Reaching to Heaven”

Stephen “Stumpy” Riggs

Materials: acrylic on canvas, a thin layer of Cinnabon frosting

A fascinating byproduct of the late 1970s preoccupation with the color orange, this work is particularly noteworthy for its attempt to make ancient Redwood trees look like some kind of pretzel-based snack. As Robert Hughes once wrote, “Never underestimate the power of a hungry artist,” and although he almost certainly meant something else, it’s widely agreed among art historians that Riggs was simply a bit peckish during the painting of this piece. Riggs’ technique of blending oranges and yellows to make even muddier-looking oranges and yellows is on brilliant display here, even more so than in his 7-part series “Pencil Shavings and Tangerine Peels.” This painting has been especially influential among lumberjacks decorating their children’s bedrooms.

-Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian


“Untitled Still Life #492”

Jethro Vermeer


EST. 1,500,000-2,000,000 USD


Baron Archibald Neubauer (private collection)

The National Gallery, London (acquired from the above)

eBay seller #1829349 (acquired from the above)


The National Gallery “In the Shadow of Greatness” 1990

Featured Art Under $25, eBay, 2017

Catalog Note:

Dutch Golden Age painter Jethro Vermeer was much eclipsed by his younger brother, Johannes, in life and in death.

What the elder Vermeer lacked in artistic prowess, he made up for in persistence. There are over 600 accredited examples of his iconic still life: a basket, some unlikely-looking flowers, an indifferent citrus. In 17th century Holland these paintings mostly found their way to roadhouses and inns, where they were the progenitors of the iconic motel room painting of the 20th century.

Ignored by collectors for centuries, rampant income inequality and corruption in North America, Russia, and Asia has generated new interest in Johannes Vermeer’s elder brother. The present work is at best a middling example of the Jethro Vermeer fruit basket still life, but we believe our valuation to be very conservative, given the glut of unscrupulous international billionaires.

-Evan Wagoner-Lynch, Specialist


“Une Mêlée de Trompe”
Paul Robertson


If you venture between Karel Appel at his most cerebral and Vincent Van Gogh carelessly sneezing a mouthful of cupcake on a canvas, you will find the work of the great solitudinarian Paul Robertson. The texture evokes ancient feelings, for we are familiar with such visuals but cannot make out why we shudder at first look. Those swirling currents of crimson and scarlet causing our minds, so pregnant with chaos, to make an undertow that will last until we are but stardust again. What of this, yon mercurial specter, what wisdom are you imparting to our pining ears? Will we ever be able to handle your depths?

– Jasper Cotto, Artistologist

Note from the artist:

That piece is actually called: “Mat from Fight Club with a Kitten.” It’s a piece of canvas from the floor of Doug’s stepmom’s basement. A lot of the blood came from Chad nose. I got bored midway through the kitten, so I stopped.

– Paul Robertson


“Awaiting the Return (Snacktime in Toledo)”Awaiting the Return (Snacktime in Toledo)

By Arlene Smokler

Materials: canvas, watercolors, Burt’s Bees lip balm

Jesus, upon his crucifixion, swore he’d return to walk the earth again. Two millennia later, an androgynous senior citizen waits patiently for the Nazarene to fulfill his promise. His/her edges are blurred to signify the grace which radiates from the most loyal of Christ’s followers. The red polka dot sofa sprouts spectral wings, symbolizing Jesus’ ascension to heaven all those years ago. And the uneaten, oversized Bugle snack treat, literally dripping with tasty goodness, represents the hunger for answers that burns inside the faithful.

– Artistologist David Cairns


Study in Orange and Red

Mak Rafko


Little is known about Rafko, except that his name and artistic style are extremely similar to that of the modern Russian painter Mark Rothko. It is unclear to the art community if Rafko is a fraud or a deranged tribute artist. Other such tribute artists such as George O’Keith, Mary Cassette, and Tomas Kingcage have emerged over the past half century.  

This piece was recently purchased for forty million dollars by Uber founder Travis Kalanick. Kalanick said in an interview that he had mistaken Rafko for Rothko after talking to an art dealer with a thick Boston accent. Kalanick later donated the piece to a charity auction alongside Britney Spears’ work, “Sometimes You Just Gotta Play”, for $10,000. This piece was later discovered at the East Hollywood Goodwill store.

-Artistologist, Tiffany Harker


“Michael Jackson/Merman” by Alejandro de Bun BunMichael Jackson:Merman
Watercolor and pencil on paper

Literally some people have viewed this work and wondered: is that Michael Jackson? And also: Where is his right arm? These and other questions have plagued scholars for years. For the exotic sea beast pop singer figure we see here is truly one of the art world’s great mysteries.

– EDW Lynch






“Too Hot to Handle (Too Cold to Hold)” by Coke Harris
Materials: oil on repurposed Froot Loops boxestoo-hot-to-handle

The seeming placidity of nature — and the tumult underneath that façade — is the primary theme of the artist’s oeuvre, best seen in this example from his “Shasta Years.” (This is a reference not to California’s Shasta Lake but to the soda brand, to which the artist had developed a frightening addiction). The bottom half of the frame depicts a rushing river, surging in a way that is almost sexual, but not quite, because rivers don’t have genitals. The upper half is a bush, or a tree; Harris could ne
ver decide, and he died penniless in a flophouse in Santa Cruz. That Shasta soda will fuck you up.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




serena-in-red“Serena in Red” by Len Johnston
Materials: oil on crushed velvet and dreams

This is a particularly striking selection from Johnston’s series depicting humans in the process of devolution. The creature pictured is half cat, half woman, but has one Minnie Mouse ear — a wry swipe at the over commercialization of anthropomorphic animals in a debased, Disneyfied art landscape. She looks curious, pensive. She hasn’t even touched her kitty grass. Her gaze says, “Come to me. Do not be afraid. Be my lover. I’m a good kitty. Good kitty. Yes.” Johnston also had kind of a thing for hedgehogs.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





midnight-violet-pumps“Midnight Violet Pumps” by Eye Candie
Materials: leather strap, synthetic sole

a friend got me these for my birthday and they are amazing! Heel is very high but very easy to walk in. The texture is some kind of fur. mine had a some hair pushed out of place but a little water and some hand brushing put back in place no problem. All in all they are true to size and snug. I don’t slide around in these at all. I am a size 7. if you have a wider foot go a half size up. the heel is really set well too, very firm and no wobbling. Great shoe from a great designer. I definitely will be getting more! [4 stars]

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian/Top Reviewer





“Democracy?” by A.R. Bixby1

Materials: oil, watercolors, questioning authority

The title is a question, but is it? Yes, it is. By literally inverting the stripes – and forsaking the stars altogether – Bixby
asks us to directly confront the myth of American exceptionalism. The faces of the oppressed are in the background, faint but clearly present, screaming for justice in an unjust system. Is true equality possible in an unequal society? That’s for you to decide. Answer: it is not.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Midnight Wings” by Jennifer Agmata5

Materials: acrylic on unfoldable fitted sheet

One of nature’s most misunderstood creatures, the bat roams the night sky, its powerful radar guiding it toward insect sustenance. Agmata was no doubt inspired by the Himalayan crystal bat, a rare species that is completely invisible to the naked eye without special glasses for viewing. And even then, it’s pretty faint. This natural cloak of invisibility makes the bat far less susceptible to predators but much more likely to be bumped into in line at the supermarket.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Pisces Rising” by Maggie LiouPisces Rising

Materials: fish guts, my lord, the fish guts

Liou was renowned for her ability not only to portray sea life in a colorful way but also for using only sea-based materials. This eye-catching piece also captured the attention of many noses, as Liou’s paints were made by mashing up various ocean-dwellers into sludge which was then dyed. An original approach to be sure, but also an unusual one given that this was supposed to be a decorative plate, thereby ensuring the odor would be a constant distraction to the diner.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“6 Legs” by Dina Rumsey6 Legs

Materials: oil on canvas, Lysol toilet bowl cleaner

At first glance 6 Legs is a benign and placid nature scene, once derided by Thomas Kinkade as “Hacky even to me.” But Rumsey’s work can never be so easily dismissed. As she explained at its unveiling, the ant pictured near center is on a harrowing journey that will end in its gruesome dismemberment by a vicious spider. The ant will struggle for hours in the web, begging for its life, only to be devoured in a slow and painful manner by the arachnid. The ant, Rumsey explained, had ventured out only to escape an abusive family situation. Rumsey was widely known as a “real bummer.”

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Sandringham Lane” by Sara R. BarrettSandringham Lane

Materials: watercolors, spite

Hotels need art, too. It’s a thriving market. No, I don’t think I wasted all your money by going to that expensive art school, Dad. I found the most important thing there: myself. Tell Mom I love her. No, I don’t know about Thanksgiving yet, I’ll call you next week.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Pi Time We Went” by Tai SheridanPi Time We Went

Materials: oil, duct tape, China Glaze nail polish

Simple in its design but devastating in its overall effect, this piece from Sheridan’s Chicago period sees the artist wondering aloud: what if the symbol for pi had a party with a bunch of its friends? The results are not only aesthetically startling but also impossible to argue against. This is exactly what that party would look like, no joke.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian






“Mercury Rain” by Kurt MayoMercury Rain

Materials: watercolors, broken thermometers

Mayo was renowned for his skill with realistically depicting various liquids. Usually quite hard to portray, he developed a brush technique that allowed him to convincingly paint the beautiful, controlled chaos of spilling fluids. He was not very good at drawing horses, though. The legs never looked right.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Chrome Spring” by Hari GraemeChrome Spring

Materials: charcoal (the kind with the lighter fluid already in it)

Spring is known for its burst of Technicolor splendor. Graeme has flipped the script, imagining spring in glorious black and white, like a movie from Hollywood’s golden age; a black and white movie about spring. The piece is famous in the west coast art community as the one which made so many gasp and say, “Oh my god that would look so cute on a pillow. Wouldn’t that look cute on a pillow?”

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Petals (Why, Samantha?)” by Lynn Boogie-SmithPetals (Why, Samantha?)

Materials: watercolors, eyebrow pencil, tea leaves

Poor little flower. Relegated to the bottom of the frame, it reaches up in desperation to call on its oblivious paramour. Plucked apart petal-by-petal by a cruel (but popular) child, it is half the flower it once was, much less than the beautiful, fully-intact flower above could ever desire. The orange poppy in the upper left smiles in a classic depiction of schadenfreude floral, the ugliest of emotions in the natural world, aside from perhaps when monkeys laugh at uglier monkeys.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“Neon Nitemare in Boystown” by Mikal SarongNeon Nitemare in Boystown

Materials: oils (some facial) on canvas

The Lollipop Man lounges in his bed of lava and laughs. He laughs at the futility of man’s efforts to bring peace and order. He laughs at the energy wasted by charitable do-gooders who don’t realize they are only serving their own fragile egos. Mostly, he laughs at you and your pathetic attempts to justify your own existence on this bitter, inhospitable planet. He might be holding a cat, it’s hard to tell.

  • Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Evolution in Real Time” by Frank HardtackEvolution in Real Time
Materials: crayon and marker on cardboard

Two fish go one way, a third is content in iconoclasm. Triangles dance as triangles often do. This seemingly whimsical scene is actually a depiction of a cruel Darwinian game Hardtack would play in his personal fish tank. Dubbed “Swim Little Fish, Swim,” the game involved dropping several fish into the water with a larger predator fish and scooping out the last survivor, the fastest of the group. Hardtack planned to make his fortune selling the swiftest fish collected from these experiments but soon realized this would not be as profitable as he assumed. Luckily for the artist, this panting sold for over 17 million dollars in a 2004 auction, bought by a newly rich Texan who didn’t know better.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Damnation, Under God” by Everett Ramos, Jr.Damnation, Under God
Materials: highlighter pens on canvas

“It’s coming closer/the flames are now licking my body” sang Elvis Presley in his disturbing apocalyptic masterpiece “Burning Love.” Much like the King’s Dante-esque vision of a sinner’s afterlife, this work by Everett Ramos, Jr. peers directly into the dark heart of Satan’s kingdom. Regarding this piece, you can almost feel the singeing flames of hell on your face. You can hear the anguished screams of the damned. You can smell the sulfur and detect the eyes of Beelzebub piercing your soul as if to say, “Your time for punishment has come.” Some people also think it looks like a wheat field.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Twilight: Breaking Dawn” by Nancy MoranoTwilight: Breaking Dawn
Materials: watercolors moistened by tears on poster board

In painting, fullness of effect is created by blending shadows with a darker area underneath those shadows. Rembrandt was a particular master of this technique, but he never bothered to paint redwood trees, so his contribution to the world of painting is somewhat negligible. Far more renowned is Oregon’s former lieutenant governor Nancy Morano. Morano turned to painting after her impeachment — she was implicated in a coupon-backdating scam — and her technique blossomed prodigiously.This piece has it all: fullness of effect, shadows, redwood trees and, if one looks very carefully, the entire original cast of Taxi hidden somewhere in the frame.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Lumberjack’s Paradise vol. 1 & 2” by Kermit SlatchLumberjack's Paradise vol. 1
Materials: Mac eyeshadow on canvas

Slatch’s two-part masterpiece is the Rubber Soul and Revolver of evergreen forest depictions. These two distinct halves, similar in style and both striking in their artistic maturity, are often coupled as twin representations of the artist’s remarkable mid-career hot streak (these paintings earned him the cover of Brushstroke magazine, as well as a lucrative commission from a company that makes car air fresheners). Slatch’s daring use of the color green for the pine needles and leaves is Lumberjack's Paradise vol. 2still discussed widely in art schools, as is his habit of running into his own gallery screaming “Smells like Christmas, don’t it?”

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Joyful Plants” by Kevin RossJoyful Plants
Materials: hand-me-down pencils and watercolors on leftover paper

Kevin Ross, the younger brother of public television celebrity Bob Ross, was a painter in his own right. The younger Ross sibling struggled for recognition, living in the figurative shadow of Bob’s fame and the literal shadow of his superior ‘fro. Here we see a typical example of Kevin’s work, which his mother described as “very nice” and “almost as good as your brother’s paintings” and “better than joining a gang.” Ross lives in New Hampshire and sells jam on his personal website. Do not buy it.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Life is Never Still” by Dave “Two Shoes” NelsonLife is Never Still
Materials: watercolors on paper

With angelic grace but brute strength, the first flower of spring surges skyward to take its place in the bright landscape of mother earth’s great pageant. Its petals, indistinct and glob-like, sit like a giant lollipop head on a spindly green stem. The winter was long and hard but the sun has finally returned to bring its rejuvenating warmth. There is no stopping this flower from its glorious bloom. If this does not move you to tears, you are dead inside and beyond help.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Opiate and Anthony” by Serena FrancescoOpiate and Anthony
Materials: scrounged from abandoned Dave & Buster’s

The dizzying array of choices for mental anesthetization lulls us into a media-created stupor, where we are one with our devices and our devices all blur together. Television, radio, a watering can pouring onto a battery: these are the tools used by the Entertainment Industrial Complex to turn us into zombies. What Francesco has done, with wit and lots of glue, is show how these mind-atrophying tools are all one and the same. I don’t own a telvision, I prefer podcasts.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“All We Own We Owe” by Elizabeth SimpkinAll We Own We Owe
Materials: organic condiments on white bread

A devastating satire on wealth disparity in modern America, this piece takes us into world — right up in the grill, you might say, though why would you — of obscene wealth. The hood ornament of a luxury automobile is the perfect symbolism for the predatory nature of the upper class: the wildcat strikes, taking what it can, and leaving only half-eaten rotting carcasses for those lower on the food chain. The car is white (the color of American privilege); the background is green (the color of money); the hood ornament is silver (the dealership was out of rose quartz).

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Mary in the Afternoon (1974)” by John EhrlichmanMary in the Afternoon (1974)
Materials: oils and pencil on bleached USA Today

Ehrlichman, a master of subtle eroticism, considered this to be his Mona Lisa, in that no one in his own time thought it was any good. Now, of course, we know better. The subject’s towel clings for dear life, tantalizingly threatening to reveal buttocks which may or may not even be present. It is unclear whether she is undressing pre-coitus or collecting herself after the act, but her stiffly erect shoulder blades suggest a powerful sexual charge in the air. This is one fondue party nobody would want to miss.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Elephant’s Memory” by Harvey Wall-BangerElephant's Memory
Materials: Charcoal on paper

An elephant, goes the common saying, never forgets. This is not true. Also, bats are not blind. Frankenstein is the name of the doctor, not his creation. These common misconceptions drove the artist clinically cuckoo and he dedicated his life to painting conversation pieces that would allow him to correct the speech of others. God help you if you asked him for an “expresso.” Wall-Banger is currently serving a 12-year sentence for murdering a man who referred to the store as “Nordstrom’s.”

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Motor Cars, Handlebars, Bicycles for Two” by Pema HerringboneMotor Cars, Handlebars, Bicycles for Two
Materials: crushed fruit gummies on canvas

By including everything, you include nothing. By crowding the frame, you create space. Contradictions are not contradictions at all — but are they? The artist’s seemingly random choices of items to depict is a witty comment on modern society’s “more is more” fallacy. Herringbone knew that buying another wingless bird, or cigarette box with lips, or purple striped bugle puking water can’t make you happy. She reportedly wished to include several more items but ran out of time, which is itself a comment on something.

– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian







Venetian Apotheosis (Gerry’s Place)Venetian Apotheosis (Gerry’s Place)
By Smythe Bruce
Materials: Watercolors moistened by tears on canvas

Smythe Bruce — an artist of almost unparalleled skill at public accounting — also did some paintings, and this is certainly one of them. The sunlight forces its way through the trees to announce the coming of the new day, or the birth of a new feline monarch. Bruce, the self-proclaimed Master of Sleight, is known for producing paintings which reveal different images when viewed from various angles. Looked at sideways, this piece bears a striking resemblance to daylight streaming through wooden shutters. In the land of the blinds, the man with really nice blinds truly is king.

— Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian.



C. HhhhhhhhhhC. Hhhhhhhhhh

Materials: Dry Brush, Gasoline, Primer

This simple landscape isn’t even a landscape at all — it’s a painting. And it is a painting only in the most literal sense. It was once a blank canvas, which then had paint applied to it. The paint dried in the shape of a snowy mountain crag, by all accounts the simplest, smallest idea that a painting can express. There is absolutely no artistic expression in this piece; it is regarded as a piece of art solely because it is hanging in a gallery. The context is essential, the piece cannot stand on its own and retain this label. As soon as this piece is removed from a gallery, it might as well be a piece of WonderBread for all the significance it has.

— Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian.




Materials: Two (2) canvaseses, light oils, mixed tedia

Through this piece and its companion UM SURE (a four-hundred-foot-long triptych, currently on display at the Royal Art Museum of the Justification in Canada) the artist begs the question, “like, what?” This piece is a classic example of the Undisciplinariast school, which came in to and fell out of prominence in Toronto in the third week of November, 1998.

– David Cairns, Artistologist
“Crafter’s Outlet Anyone Can Paint #28” by M. HarmonCrafter’s Outlet Anyone Can Paint #28
Acrylic on paint by numbers card

The artist created this work during his controversial Paint By Numbers period of the late 1980s and early 90s. A raccoon engages the viewer with his coalblack eyes, caught in the act of posing for a painting.

– EDW Lynch







“Hail Mary Full of Angels” by Ignacio KornbluthHail Mary Full of Angels
Acrylic on Bible pages

The Virgin Mary is beset by a swarm of angels in this tribute to Italian Renaissance fresco by Ignacio Kornbluth. The curiously upright stance of the inverted angel on the lower right of the painting allows the work to be enjoyed upside-down.

– EDW Lynch







Materials: just some papers, markers, purple stuff, what not

OGRE reflects the artist’s inner monster, and subverts the relationship he has to it — What if the monster were on the outside? This post-modern take on Magical Realism incorporates elements of cubism and Super Street Fighter III Turbo.

– David Cairns, Artistologist







“Wading to Exhale” by Dr. Jabo BrontleyWading to Exhale

Materials: Extra-thick Office Depot brand paper, colored pencils (half sharpened)

Brontley, once a professor of animal husbandry at Yuma Vocational College, once described this piece as “a nightmare of post-postmodern self-image”. The central figure, a bather both infantile and buxom, shows a heartbreaking reluctance to become fully submerged, having been filled with insecurity by the harshness of modern society. The figures in the background are predatory and cactus-like for some reason. Dr. Brontley is currently single.

–  Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian




“Raspberry Dreams No. 14” by Warren DroulliardRaspberry Dreams No. 14
Oil and nightmares on recycled sympathy cards

Darwin springs from the earth, like the glorious fauna he studied in the Galapagos. Is it the reincarnation of the Father of Modern Science, or just a red-hued likeness? It might be Santa. Anyway, he has a beard (Droulliard was famously inept at drawing upper lips). The sickly homunculus stands next to him, a symbol of evolution gone amok, tighty whiteys clinging on for dear life. He beckons to a lover or a sandwich. Both? Droulliard committed suicide shortly after this work, which makes the rainbows extra depressing.



“Spring Collection – Broome Street Jacket” by Cathrain BrippleberrySpring Collection - Broome Street Jacket
Oils, “The Kiss” 26″x20″ poster by Gustav Klimt, Fall 1999 JC Penny catalogue

This illustration was commissioned for the Kate Spade catalogue in 2001. In producing this piece, the artist employed her oft-never-imitated process of eating other works of art, in an attempt to infuse her body and mind with her inspirations. Unfortunately, the artist was unaware of how bodies work. This illustration was never was never used in any advertisement.

Ms Brippleberry died in 2002 of ink poisoning.

— David Cairns, artologist




“You’re Killin’ Me, Bro” by Chuck FontesYou’re Killin’ Me, Bro

A bromantic comedy gone so hellishly wrong, addict sports gambler and half-Naga Chuck Fontes’ auto-biographical masterpiece depicts not just the exquisite pain of a Latin man’s stranglehold but also having no shoulders. In an homage to Munch, Fontes desperately faces the audience while agony floods his every goateed pore, but his captor listens not, staring with empty satisfaction into yonder abyss, or perhaps at the basketball game on TV. I’m just surprised “benefit” is spelled correctly.

– Professional Painting Yelper Ari Rust





“Dessert’ed” by Matilde HandDessert’ed

Using various colored cake frosting stolen from a Safeway bakery, this piece engages the viewer almost immediately, challenging one to let go of rationale for just a moment, and fully absorb its striking symbolic symbols. The cherubic, cream-filled Rush Limbaugh hovers serenely above a sinister figure, severely tanned and yet a wisp of a man, whilst a ghost rushes in behind both figures, as if bursting with exciting news from its previous life, the asymmetrical rainbow binding all of them together.

— Alani Foxall, Visual Consumer
“Untitled with Moon” by Steven MichelangeloUntitled with Moon
Acrylic on bus transfers

Created during the artist’s relapse phase, this work was rescued from a thrift store and painstakingly restored with forensic dish soap to its present condition. It is unclear why the painting has an unsettling orange cast. Some believe the artist wished to deface the work. Others believe the painting was abandoned in a garage where water damage took its toll. Regardless, the stain lends a certain patina to the work that only adds to its allure. Wait, no it doesn’t.

-EDW Lynch



“The Gaze”TURBAN
Materials: I got a staple in my finger what do I do

The Gaze is a self portrait in the traditional Wagonerian style, in which the artist depicts himself in a disguise or otherwise peculiar clothing, especially clothing of another culture. Though a truly traditional exemplification of this style has the subject looking dead into the viewer’s perspective, this artist has opted for a coy look to the side, leaving the viewer to question “Why?”. Is it cowardice or gentility? Is he trying to think of a lie?

– David Cairns, Artistologist





“The World Crack’d”CRACKED
Materials: #1 Pencil, #3 Pencil, colored pencil, tissue paper, Cardboarda di Firenze

This French New Wave sketch is unique in the sense that it can be considered both pre- and post-Primitivist. There are two subjects in this piece – the house in the distance and the cracked earth in the foreground. The house itself represents the traditional family structure of the Classical era. Its dilapidation and the cracked, barren earth that surrounds it epitomize the Primitivist idea that people live in different ways. The selection of medium and mode was intended to enhance the house’s plainness, and is itself Expressionistic.

– David Cairns, Artistologist 




Materials: Wood, laquer, owling chafe, Anti-Wood

While this piece is very rare and extremely valuable (it was last appraised in the tens of millions of lira), the viewer is encourage to pick it up and kind of play around with it, like one might do with an owl found in the wilderness. The artist explicitly stated, upon submitting this piece to the show, that people should “get all up on [this piece]” and “touch it and throw it around or whatever, I don’t care.”

– David Cairns, Artistologist





Materials: Medium-grade acid-full paper, water colors paints, water, Colgate WhiteGuard Toothpaste

This piece depicts the hazy silhouette of a floating cityscape, a la Bespin, a rendering of our possible future. But: it is only visible through a smoky, gloppy patina. The artist asks, “What is the environmental cost of a Cloud City?” and, furthermore, “Why would we want one?” Truly, a stirring piece. – Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




Materials: Crayola Rockin Blue #9 Magic Marker, Sharpie felt-tip #6, pastel, canvas

The deep blue palette of Night lulls the viewer into the piece, drawing them closer. The bright white eye attracts one’s attention like the light of a lamprey eel. The viewer finds themselves coaxed into the painting, lost in the forbidden dark of the deep sea of their mind. And then they can look at it.

– David Cairns, Artistologist



“Intensity of Daylight”BALD
Materials: Bits of charcoal, Sweet ‘n Savory Dry Ink Rub, Stipple Sauce #9, CD of Sublime’s “40 Oz. To Freedom”

In this piece, the artist represents her inner frustration. The lack of any brilliant hue almost asks the viewer’s eyes to pass right over this piece in gallery, almost as if it is saying, “Don’t look at me, I’m not worth your time.” The artist has depicted herself as a skull, bald of all flesh, which is a symbolic brash understatement of her raw appetite (note the teeth) for success (note the lack of success).

– David Cairns, Artistologist




Materials: Assorted Inks, grey rainwater, “How to Draw Technophobic Nightmares” by H.R. Giger, bleached parchment

The artist asks us to imagine a world in which birds (and presumably other animals) have developed their own technology. Would they be better at it than humans? Such deconstruction of man’s technological achievement exaggerates how “un-human” our actual inventions are. Will we ever be able to “wear” an “iPod”? Probably not, but, then, why would we want to?

– David Cairns, Artistologist




“Still Life of a Flying Whale (With Jellyfish)”Still Life of a Flying Whale (With Jellyfish)
Materials: Light, oil-based paints, the first time using LSD

The artist’s own misconceptions about the form of whales and their method of locomotion is evident in this piece, but he cleverly illustrates how freeing not knowing anything about the subject can be. Here we see a whale free from all normal, expected, natural (and therefore trite) context. It has transcended the place in the universe it was given. It has grown horns, it is friends with jellyfish. It can fly.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




“It’s my ART, Dad!” by Alan L’nalhalIt’s my ART, Dad!

This piece is indicative of the style of mid-2000s Portland dwellers, of trying to reinvent new ideas of what it could mean to be ‘weird’ or ‘abstract’ — and finally found its home in the phrase ‘totally whoa’, which so captured the movement, it became eponymous. Artists of the Totally Whoa style are characteristically very jaded, seeking only to produce that which has never been produced before, at the cost of the thing having any inherent meaning. The artist here depicts himself as a surprisingly well-rendered wolf, staring at the viewer dolefully, almost as if to say, “I hope you don’t enjoy this, because nothing has meaning”.

— David Cairns, artologist



“Untitled” by Lula WhodrewUntitled
Materials: Memories, mixed media, a synapse, a book on Queery Theory, Jane Fonda Workout, VHS

A number of images intermix here with varying effectiveness, and, in their own way, form a sort of visual staccato. Like a John Cage arrangement operating without a conductor, the symbols in this piece present themselves just how they are, with no sense of preparation on aesthetic effort. In this sense, it is art at its purest, an expression of the artist’s true sentiment, far before they consider whether it might be “good” or “make sense”.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist



“WHAT” by Ricky LakeWHAT
Mat-he-rials: charcoal, sulphur, man-made heavy cardstock, a real man’s course hungry blood

Late ant-feminist painter / essaying / poet / “dick-sculptor” Ricky Lake, most famous for not being the popular daytime television host, made this painting on a dare. While the artist is a pretty generally hated person, this piece is notable for having popularized the highlighting of a woman’s “tee tees and coo-joo” while not depicting the man’s “bongo mallet”. While initially seen as juvenile, these terms are now considered commonplace.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




“Revenge of Zoroaster” by Grenadine HamburgerRevenge of Zoroaster

The Bible tells the parable of the Garden of Eden, wherein the Serpent convinces Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, which teaches her the difference between Good and Evil, thus breaking Humankind of its manacles of innocence, a happening known as Original Sin. Themes of this story are the basis of nearly all cultures descended from Abrahamic religions, composing all of Western society. The artist, heavily influenced by “Chicken Soup for the Country Soul” and then “The Five-Day Study Bible”, figured they would give it a shot, and try to hit everything at once. With polka dots.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




“Still Life with Blue Vase” by Juli BegalfiStill Life with Blue Vase
Materials: Drafting paper, watercolors

Look at this. The flowers look so nice, like real flowers only better because they won’t die. My favorite is the little one who’s all droopy. I mean, he’s down, but he’s not out, you know? I just… I just don’t know what to say other than it’s beautiful and pretty and that’s enough sometimes. I’m not going to lie: I’ve been drinking.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian





“Rad: A Lie Made to a Beggar” by Brian Cherghorn aka “The Unknown Artist”Rad: A Lie Made to a Beggar
Materials: Lettermatic RI-84 letterpress machine, gold leaf, Kirkland Felt Blood Drops

Why does heartbreak always make us cry? Why wouldn’t it make us bleed or pee or defecate? Why not yell quasi-anachronistic expressions? Literature theorists have long said there is no reason for it. Richard Longview, eminent Harvard chair of Comparative Literature Theory, has even said, “there is no reason for it!”. And yet it still holds true, unwavering and unchanging. Perhaps someday, Humankind will learn how to break this terrible cycle of oracular leakage, but until then, the only cure is ice cream.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist



“Saturdays with Mr. Albert” by Bram HardwickeSaturdays with Mr. Albert
Materials: Cardboard stock, Crayola Washables

Perhaps Hardwicke’s most accessible work, “Saturdays with Mr. Albert” shows little of the artist’s usual flair for the bizarre. Clearly inspired by the cozy Americana of Norman Rockwell, it portrays a placid weekend visit with a beloved old relative. One can practically smell the fresh-baked cookies and lemonade. Despite this, most people seem to fixate on the naked transsexual in the bowler hat slaughtering the green demon.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian





“Portrait of Uncle Glen — Thanksgiving, 1983” by Alvarez HickenlooperPortrait of Uncle Glen -- Thanksgiving, 1983
Materials: Canvas, watercolors, cadaver eyebrow hair

One in a series of captivating family portraits, “Uncle Glen” is nothing less than a shocking comment on the deterioration of the American family. The subject, his collar spread wide like the legs of his many conquests, has the cold hard stare of a silver fox who has run out of henhouses to plunder. After a rude remark about cousin Judith’s abortion, he is on the receiving end of a vicious potato peeler attack, leaving his handsome face bloodied. The whole scene, like the curtains in the background, is ugly.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian




“Painting from Sunday afternoon, November 24th, 1991” by Dr Steve Knotts, DDSPainting from Sunday afternoon, November 24th, 1991
Materials: Level 3 Landscape Painter’s Starter Pack, particle board frame

The history of art can be traced back from student to teacher, movement to movement, following the same arc of the rest of human history, constantly tracing the details of events and moods in Humanity’s ever-shifting, ever-evolving zeitgeist. So many artists never take on an apprentice, and so their style, their depth of knowledge and technique, terminate with the artist’s death. Few great artists, however, take on millions of students, as did the late Bob Ross. Because of his tireless dedication, the art world was infused with a tidal wave of incredibly derivative, similarly bland, boring landscapes, thus bringing the price of art down to where the common man can appreciate it in his or her own home. Because of Ross’s efforts, a piece by an old master like Rembrandt or Cezanne can be had for only seventy or eighty dollars. Most no longer even remember when such pieces would fetch prices into the millions.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist


“Humdonger” by Doug TolftaeldHumdonger
Materials: Canvas, oils, Viagra, the world’s most flattering mirror

The artist paints herself as a dog pretending to be a man on a hot Summer evening in New York City. The cocktail of amphetamines and hallucinogens starting to take hold, she straps herself to a chair to protect her fragile, imaginary penis from the walls‚ melting into the evening’s sky, where the Sun gains consciousness, finding itself more marshmallow Peep than it is accustomed to being. She blindfolds herself against the maelstrom of things realizing things.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




“Hipster Christening” by M.A. HoarehockHipster Christening
Materials: Canvas, mixed oils, nightmare tonic, whatever

This piece recalls the artist’s own traumatic Christening / Bris / parent’s divorce. The parents, undeniably hip, look down at their pathetic prodigy, their hopes and dreams for him suddenly stillborn, They realize that a Christening ceremony is not “ironic” even with a little person as officiant.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist





“Everything I Do (I Do it For You)” by Merkhopfer BlumEverything I Do (I Do it For You)
Materials: Canvas, oils, a poor understanding of human anatomy

There is nothing greater than the transformative power of love. In this piece, Blum presents two lovers transmogrified by their passion. Afro at full, glorious flower, the man has reverted to a reptilian state of carnal hunger, his forked tongue feeling around for some moist reciprocation, or perhaps just a nosh. The woman, unable to satisfy her lust with two human hands, extends nine greedy tentacles. She closes her eyes in anticipation. At last, she sighs, Internet dating has proven effective.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian




“Death in Repose (Summer Reruns)” by Alexandra McNicholasDeath in Repose (Summer Reruns)
Materials: Canvas, oils, Puffy Paints

Death does indeed, from time to time, take a holiday. This piece finds the Reaper himself enjoying a “staycation” of the most mundane sort. The very banality of this activity, or lack of activity, conjures a sense of macabre irony; we are always mindful of Death’s presence in our lives, and Death never misses an episode of “The Glee Project”. The raven, perched on the Reaper’s left shoulder, also watches but does not comprehend. Ravens are stupid.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian




“Fish with Blue” by Ryan ReynoldsFish with Blue
Materials: Body oil paints, crayon

The artist here has represent sherself as a simple golden fish set on a simple blue hued background. However, the observer’s eyes are distracted by the coil of supine serpents that enthrong the fish. What purpose do they serve? Do they represent hardship, or does the artist just like dark, oily swirly-wirlies?

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist





Materials: Heavy oils, little plastic owl doodles, little plastic parrot doodles, fake flowers,

San Francisco has long been a “vital” part of drug culture in the United States and the world, due to the popularization of psychedelics and hallucinogens in the city in the 1960s. For decades, young “artists” have followed the footsteps of their heroes, flocking to the Haight Ashbury district to sleep in the park and bother people for money while under the influence of mind-“expanding” drugs. This piece is an homage of sorts to this very lifestyle. We can see a number of people dressed ridiculously, bothering one another and hawking Street Sheets, while the giant painterly flowers grow out of nothing in particular. Viewers are encouraged to experience this piece in all the senses they can muster. Get up close to it. Put your nose in the vestibule, smell the carefully-crafted street people. If one closes one’s eyes, one can almost hear them say, “Green herb. Dank bud here.”

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




“Bartleby with the Northern Lights” by Johann Grummler-DanstBartleby with the Northern Lights
Materials: wood, oils

The Aurora Borealis dances in the night sky, but not for Bartleby. The subject is believed to be a representation of the artist’s brother, a simpleton who never removed his plumed hat except for during lovemaking, when he put on a larger hat. His complete obliviousness to the wonders of the cosmos, combined with his effeminate shoulder bag, suggest a deep, heavily feathered eccentricity. It also appears as if someone has stolen his shopping cart.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian




“#5: Harry and the Shirt from Kohl’s” by Roseanne Leavey#5: Harry and the Shirt from Kohl's
Materials: Canvas, pastels, Hai Karate aftershave

Roseanne Leavey first attracted notice in the Pittsburgh art scene with her daring series re-imagining famous cinematic creatures as humans in everyday life. “#1: Godzilla at Trader Joe’s” is perhaps the best known piece, along with “#7: Gremlin Teleconference.” This selection shows Harry, of “Harry and the Hendersons”, stripped of his Sasquatch persona. His trepidation is plain to see in his haunted eyes. He is contemplating his new role as a part of the race that shunned him, his confusion at the modern world, and whether he made the right decision becoming a high school guidance counselor.

– Note by Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian



“Tequila Sunrise” by Scott NicholsonTequila Sunrise

Tequila, grenadine, orange juice, canvas

Pour Tequila and orange juice in a glass filled with ice. Add grenadine. Do not stir.

– EDW Lynch





“On The Farm” by Irma WawawamOn The Farm

Acrylic on tear-soaked canvas

This piece presents dystopian vision of agrarian existence shrouded in the post-modern kitsch of the cow-on-the-farm genre. The cow in this instance is clearly an avatar for mankind and the tyranny of life in a world ruled by technology. Look carefully at his eyes. His *human* eyes. Shudder.

– EDW Lynch



“Not a Yellow Trumpet” by Suzanne CaravaggioNot a Yellow Trumpet
Acrylic on #8 Art Board

Created over the course of one and a half hours, this elegiac painting speaks volumes to the artist’s vague knowledge of guitar appearance and function. The piece was found on a curbside in San Francisco by art expert and humanitarian EDW Lynch. It would look nice on a yellow wall or in a black dumpster.

– EDW Lynch




“Maria” by Quintin RodriguezMaria
Watercolor and pencil on paper

This haunting portrait seems to draw us deep into the eyes and grimacing but perfect teeth of Maria Shriver. We sense the veil of artifice surrounding Shriver, the tug of fame, the tragedy of the spotlight. But mostly we can’t look away from those eyes and those white, white teeth.

– EDW Lynch





“Murky Lake During the Orange Days” by Geoffrey LemonbarMurky Lake During the Orange Days
Oil on 50% recycled consumer content

Mountain peaks climb into a chemical fog in this intriguing landscape painting. To the left we see a majestic generic conifer rendered in the artist’s peculiar let’s-use-all-the-paint brushstrokes. There’s a message in the tree, something in the brushstrokes and the muddy colors. And that message is “Goddamnit.”

– EDW Lynch



“Empty Nest Still Life” by Karen Rice HunterEmpty Nest Still Life
Acrylic on crummy fiberboard

After Mr. Hunter left to “find himself” in Amsterdam, the artist shifted her subject matter to flowers in pots. We see in the wilting chrysanthemum and weeping peonies some type of symbolism that could surely be interpreted in some way. The blotches of puffy white flower appear as an afterthought. One can almost hear the artist muttering to herself. Muttering and smoking.

– EDW Lynch




Desert Sky ARCH
Materials: Very dry blue paint #3, a hard flat horsehair brush

Desert Sky transports the viewer to a land that is both familiar and unfamiliar, a place of realistic fantasy. The deep ravine has been dug out by a muddy river, representing the inexorable passage of time, and, by extension, the viewer’s own mortality. The ram is a symbol of vitality. It is ever watchful of the steady progress of time, wearing us down. The titular arch itself is a reminder: where once we were a full, high mountain, now time has taken all but the memory of our greatness.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist





Materials: small nylon brush, Crayola SuperPaintz 10-pack

The vase that is the subject of Whole/Hole calls to mind tragedy in all its forms. Where once the vase was whole, now it has a hole in its side. The artist explores this theme with the detailing of the jagged edge, but also reminds us that no tragedy or setback is ever insurmountable. The rays of light shining through the gaping hole illustrate the figurative and literal silver lining of proverb. The growth of green reinforces this idea – the natural world (and hence the universe itself) never stops growing and changing, despite human affairs.

The image is rendered with a quaint forced perspective that takes the viewer out of their initial interpretation, and reminds them that objectivity is the key to overcoming an existential crisis. Your Lucky numbers are: 12, 17, 35, 86, 12.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist

Materials: simple canvas, pastels, Stereolab CD

Moonlight is a complicated piece. While it is technically a “drawing” it also evokes (perhaps even more strongly than its visual elements) the sounds and smells of a marshy beach. In order to truly appreciate this piece, the “viewer” should stand a shoulders distance from it and close his or her eyes, then bend forward slightly and inhale deeply the scent of the canvas. Additionally, a recording of seagulls will accentuate this piece [NOT PROVIDED].

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




Materials: canvas, oils, frame, matting, frame

Scholars know nothing about the origins of this piece or its creator, aside from the contents of the hand-written autobiography that was found lying next to it. This mystery has created significant intrigue around this piece, with some art historians insisting it must be a lost original Rembrandt, and others merely a high school student’s art class project. Consequently, the piece has been sold at auction numerous times, at prices alternating between the tens of millions and, like, twelve bucks.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist




Materials: pastels, colored pencils, Some Kind of Paint, Um a Heavyish Posterboard?

This piece was rendered by the famed nonsense artist known as Anonymous. “Forget the form,” she (?) said in a letter to the review board of the Academy of Art University. “Look at this painting and then try to forget what you’re looking at. Remember that your eyes are always lying to you, and try to “see” past them. Imagine that, rather than looking, your eyes are drunk and they are DESCRIBING a dream that they once heard someone explaining to a bored friend in a Thai restaurant. Also included is my favorite food and prime number down there in the corner.”

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist



Winter Train

Materials: AntiFreeze, boot black, JPEG compression

This piece reminds the Western viewer of our responsibility to control nature through the means of our technology. Depicting a wild, culturally barren “wilderness” the artist has built a train track and an electric power line through it, dividing it into two smaller, more manageable wildernesses, each representing a side of the duality of man. A lone “locomotive” (literally, “crazy movement”) patrols the border between the two worlds. The fox (“intellect”) tries to hide behind a bush, but her technological overlords see all.

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist



Materials: Thickly-applied oils, Nutella, caulk

MESS is best accompanied by this note from the artist:
“Originally painted MESS after ingesting a large amount of pot-cupcakes [note: “cupcakes” is a slang term for LSD or “acid” and eating my friend Jessica’s pussy. Turned out later she had V.D. Anyway, I thought it was a terrible painting, so I threw it away. A couple months later, I tried to do a still life of a fish taco and produced the same exact painting. I don’t remember painting it. It’s like I was in a fugue state. Anyway, it was still a terrible painting so I did a shot of Scope and threw away the canvas. The following week I did a painting of the ocean — it was really beautiful, seriously — and then I passed out and woke up and this painting was on my easel. I was going to throw it away for, I guess at this point, the third time, but by then it had grown on me.”

– Note by David Cairns, Artistologist



“Studio Apartment Desperado” by Cristo AndoliniStudio Apartment Desperado

Materials: charcoal on drugs

Andolini was a specialist in depicting curiously unidentifiable animals, many with varying forms of male pattern baldness. This dog, or goat, or some combination of the two, is very depressed after his divorce and it shows. He no longer enjoys his usual hobbies and is paying way too much money to lease a Camaro. But the key to Andolini’s work, whether it’s this piece or his more famous rendering of an overweight turtle in line at the pharmacy, is the sympathy for his subjects. Soon the figure will turn his eyes upward and realize the future isn’t so bleak after all: his ex-wife still hasn’t changed her HBO Go password.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Apocalypse, Hold the Onions” by Mario Luigi-EpsteinApocalypse, Hold the Onions

Materials: markers found in a booth at Round Table on paper

Pizza, the food of peasants and kings, has inspired too many great artists to name, so none will be named, for brevity. But this stunning example from 1982 shows how even in the chaos of the rapture, pizza can be a balm for the soul. The olives may be scattered and not evenly distributed, but their spirit is strong, and the pie came with ranch for dipping the crust. The artist was very fond of America’s favorite food but never progressed to referring to it as “za,” which he felt was “retarded.”

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“The Fifth Season” by Andrea B. Doran
Who’ll Buy?

It is difficult for the human imagination to escape its limits. Knowing nothing else, we cannot imagine a world without a sky, intelligent life without language, a moisturizer that won’t leave your hands greasy. So Doran, born in Toronto in 1970, shows remarkable outside-the-boxiness by creating a fifth earth season, which she called “Sarnt.” Sarnt is believed to have fallen sometime between spring and summer, as both fresh greenery and burnt leaves appear to be present. Sarnt has no federal holidays but the weather is pleasant with low humidity, at least north of the equator. But remember: Sarnt only happens every twelve years, so if your birthday falls during this season, you’re kinda screwed.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Who’ll Buy?” by Niki CirulnickWho’ll Buy?

Materials: love beads on young velvet, craft glue

By appropriating common objects normally associated with “low art” – such as crudely fashioned bead necklaces you’d find at a street fair – Cirulnick is commenting on the hypocritical criteria often used to elevate some work while denigrating more popular forms. Fastening the items to bright red velvet is also a witty remark in itself, as if the necklace were just another tacky image of Elvis Presley, and it makes the jewely really pop. Her kiosk also has these really cute ceramic frogs.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Wedding of the Cupcake Princess” by Blake HufnagelWedding of the Cupcake Princess

Materials: Betty Crocker frosting and oils on canvas

Strongly influenced by the urban cupcake craze of the mid-2000s, Hufnagel invented a rich (both in detail and calories) world with its own mythology and available recipes. This piece depicts the marriage of Frostina the Cupcake Princess to Crimsonius the Red Velvet Prince. As their amorphous but no doubt delicious well-wishers dance around them, the Princess wonders if she is doing the right thing. Yes, joining their kingdoms means an end to the Fondant Wars, but is sacrificing true love too high a cost? Hufnagel eventually abandoned the series and began painting $6 toast.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“A Flower by Any Other Name” By Katy LyedA Flower by Any Other Name

Materials: Raw sensuality on papier-mache and lace

Vaginas, vaginas, that’s all anyone wants to talk about. It’s just a flower, okay? I hate how everyone is always trying to make everything about sex. Grow up, you guys. This is embarrassing, like that time I mispronounced “Gaugin” in front of the whole class. God, what a boner. Hey, why are you laughing? Oh, knock it off!

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“The Spring of Influence” by Walter B. MitchellThe Spring of Influence

Reflecting the artist’s broad range of musical passions, this piece features a quote from Johnny Cash’s c&w classic “Folsom Prison Blues” as well as the personal credo of hip-hop artist Tupac “2Pac” Shakur. The other two squares do not feature any quotes from musical artists, as Mitchell ran out of room to write “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”. The juxtaposition of a flower, a symbol of peace, with quotes about murder, a symbol of murder, is jarring and also probably an accident. This painting is free with the purchase of chicken tenders – inquire at the bar.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Journey into Knowing” by “Gentle” George PiperJourney into Knowing

Materials: Watercolors, various lip glosses on canvas

A striking study in something, this piece challenges you to question why the stars are so large and visible when the sun hasn’t finished going down. Of course, there is no answer, as that is the way of truly great art. One is instantly reminded of Van Gogh, whose heirs are fortunately not very litigious. The lone sailboat glides silently on the still water, its unseen skipper likely pondering his or her very existence, and also pondering why the stars look like snails. Piper was the only artist in a family of professional wrestlers, and is perhaps best known for painting several rejected album covers for Mike Oldfield.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Frankie no. 4 (Postman’s Tyranny)” by Sharon Clarke-BarrFrankie no. 4 (Postman’s Tyranny)

Materials: Oil on canvas, moisture from wet nose

The inner life of animals captivated Sharon Clarke-Barr, born 1954 in Shopwick-upon-Hardcheese, England. She painted numerous depictions of four-legged creatures reacting to everyday occurrences, the most famous probably being her series on turtles watching people have sex (the turtles were mostly confused but not uninterested). This piece catches the titular family pet in a moment of tremendous crisis: the postman has walked up the steps and is approaching the house with obviously evil intentions. The dog’s pupils are greatly dilated, as if to say, “Go away, Postman. I just came back from the eye doctor and I have to lie down.”

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Portal to Hell” by Nicholette ZeePortal to Hell

Materials: Pipe cleaners, sheep’s blood on canvas

Inspired heavily by the Italian writer Dante, Nicholette Zee imagined the doorway to Satan’s underworld as a tempestuously swirling web of confusion and pain. The bulls-eye design is intended to draw the eye to the center, or what Dante called the “chewy core” of the underworld. As one’s eye follows the spiral outward, one can practically feel the hot breath of Beezelbub whispering all of one’s past misdeeds. Is it too late to atone for your sins? Perhaps even here, at the threshold, the Devil will have mercy. I know you stole my pudding cup, Nick, just admit it.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Palomino Splish-Splash” by Timothy ManwichPalomino Splish-Splash

Materials: Cruelty-free chalk on paper

Timothy Manwich, born 1964 in New Mexico, has spent his entire career painting scenes inspired by the American Southwest of his youth. This piece, he once explained to Bolo Tie Aficionado magazine, came to him in a dream: “I was walking alone and glimpsed the most beautiful wild mare I had ever seen. She beckoned to me as she frolicked in what was either blue grass or very grassy water, it was hard to tell, dreams are weird like that.” Manwich’s upbringing gave him a unique perspective on this subject and the New Mexican terrain, and he can recommend a really good place to get empanadas.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Christopher Smolders” by Billie MataniChristopher Smolders

Materials: Nickelodeon Gak (blue) on a repurposed army cot

Schoolchildren are taught of Columbus and his voyage of 1492. They are not taught, however, of the genocide the followed, and few teachers bother to mention that Columbus did not “discover” anything. Also obscured is the fact that Columbus was hot. Matani, a Harvard-educated historian as well as painter, sought to put Columbus’ striking sexuality front and center. The festive party streamers obscure the great navigator’s face teasingly, as if to say, “Come back to the Pinta, I have plenty of wine.” Matani believed it was morally wrong to teach a skewed version of history to our children, and would tell anyone she met that Magellan had a huge dong.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Jeepers Creepers, Why’d You Touch Me, Peepers?” by Giorgio Lockwood, Jr.Jeepers Creepers, Why’d You Touch Me, Peepers?

Materials: Off-brand markers on typing paper

Those who grew up in the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s will no doubt rememberPeepers the Cat & Friends, a popular children’s program that taught youngsters how to count, read, and feel blame for their parents’ divorces. Less well-known is the fact that the show’s star, Peepers the Cat, was an insatiable voyeur. Lockwood daringly peels back the curtain to reveal Peepers as he truly was off-screen. The lascivious feline looks hungrily at the vaguely ethnic circus performer, looking to satisfy his most grotesque sexual desires. Peepers was convicted to seven years in prison for gross indecency and his program was immediately cancelled. The syndicated reruns remain popular in France.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Heesa the Hedgehog Queen” by Eva Hiss-FoglerHeesa the Hedgehog Queen

Materials: acrylic, gum wrappers on sandalwood

In the now-extinct civilization of Kundu, a young queen would be crowned every blue moon. One such adolescent monarch, the Great Queen Heesa, ruled for 16 months sometime in the 4th century A.D. Her short reign was remarkably productive: she broke ground on numerous irrigation projects, brokered a land deal with neighboring Qumar, and outlawed all usage of the expression “My bad.” Per tradition, when it was time to give up her spiky crown and ice cream scepter, she cooperated with the peaceful transfer of power, but she privately told everyone the new queen was “kind of a bitch.”

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Ace of Vase” by Darby MitchellAce of Vase

Materials: Watercolors, dubious intentions on parchment

“There is no such thing as quality, only perspective” Mitchell would often say. He made it his goal to break down pre-conceived notions of what is “art,” what is “good,” what “shows any ability whatsoever.” After a long period of painting sad naked clowns, Mitchell moved on to painting much sadder naked clowns, before he decided rendering the colorful outfits was too time-consuming. Flowers became his artistic obsession, though he often forgot to use that little packet of powdered plant food that comes with the flowers and they usually died quickly, forcing him to work fast.  The inspiration for this particular painting came from Safeway, where they have some fairly good deals.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Hungry Like Some Kind of Animal” by Feather HardvaneHungry Like Some Kind of Animal

Materials: Charcoal, mesquite, fake fur on canvas

Too cold even to howl at the moon, this pensive canine stares deep into the eyes of the viewer, begging for a scrap – a scrap of understanding, of peace, of kinship, but also of meat. Notice the ears: almost perfectly symmetrical, and there are two of them, a feature of the artist’s early work. The wolf is wild, impossible to tame, but its feral nature doesn’t totally negate its desire to run with the human pack. Predator, or man’s best friend? It’s hard to say. Who’s a good wolf? He’s a good wolf. Yes he is.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Plane no. 7” by Melissa van der HoffPlane no. 7

Materials: Crayon, red bingo marker, cardboard

The penultimate work in a series depicting modern air travel, van der Hoff was the third best painter of jet fuselages the Netherlands produced in the 1980s. The artist was particularly fascinated by the increasing banality of jet travel; once considered a space-age fantasy, it rapidly became commonplace and the fodder for many highly memorable comedy routines. The last in the series, “Small Bag of Peanuts,” is widely credited with winning her the Nobel Prize.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Adios mis amigo” by Mel GoatsboroughAdios mis amigo

Materials: Oils (mostly peanut), card stock

Christopher Columbus, believing himself to be in India, called the inhabitants of Hispaniola “Indians,” and the name stuck. Goatsborough, believing himself to be in Mexico, had actually just stumbled upon a Latino man wearing a hat and assumed he’d made an impromptu trip south of the border. In fact, he was at home in Des Moines and simply feeling the effects of too much Sudafed, but he knew had had his latest subject. Summoning the pain of a recent loss — his aunt had been struck Radio Flyer driven by a drunk child — he imagined his nuevo amigo mourning in a Catholic graveyard. Grief, the artist knew, is universal. There is some surprisingly good Mexican food in Des Moines. Muy caliente.

–          Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Hotel California” by Ichabod RomanyHotel California

Materials: Oils and sincerity on cardboard
Simplicity is the artist’s friend, both in visual and thematic terms, and the simple, universal message of the romantic hearts coupled with generous amounts of negative space create an effective, almost meditative piece. The hearts took over seven months to create, though the “Hotel California” text was an afterthought based on what had been playing on the radio in the artist’s studio at the time. Don Henley and Glenn Frey were pissed.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian




“Daisy Do” by H.R. HaldemanDaisy Do

Materials: Latex paint, plastic Easter grass
Haldeman is best known for having served as Chief of Staff to President Richard M. Nixon. Haldeman held the post from 1969 until 1973, when his role in the Watergate scandal lead to his resignation. Haldeman served 18 months in prison for his role in the break-in and subsequent cover-up. After his release, he had a successful career in business, investing in real estate, restaurants and others. He spent his free time painting shit like this.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian





“The Seat of Power, or, Collingswood Manor” by Sabrina O’LawrencegaleThe Seat of Power, or, Collingswood Manor

Materials: Colored chalk and hairspray on paper
O’Lawrencegale’s earlier work dealt directly with family dynamics: the power struggles, betrayals and secret desires bubbling under the surface of even the most perfect of suburban facades. In her later years, she found it much easier to simply depict the outside of the house and let the viewer imagine what was going on inside. She got the idea from those Doonesbury cartoons picturing the outside of the White House. A brilliant stroke, and a true time-saver.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Art Historialogian



“Don’t Mind the Nutters”by Cybil WendrelDon’t Mind the Nutters

Materials: Stark Oil on #9 stock, Reason, Neighborliness
This piece may be recognized as an advertisement for the Friendly Centrist Party that came to powerlessness in England in 1971. The Party was a direct reaction to the intransigence that struck the two main parties of British politics the year prior. Many people, such as Caroline M. Peters of Sussex, and Florian Henderson of Devon, and four other people, banded together and registered the Party under the rallying cry of solving all of society’s problems over a cup of tea. Such advertisements as this one depict “Ms Reasonable”, the Party’s mascot, surrounded by representations of the “Left” and the “Right”, both of whom the ads went on to describe were “a bit too much”.
 — David Cairns, Artologist



“Humpty’s Last Dance” by Tevin TostnerHumpty's Last Dance

Materials: Oil on canvas, okay????
Mother Goose, the Brothers Grimm, not even Beatrix motherfucking Potter ever perfected the mix of light and dark present in children’s stories as well as Tevin Tostner. The chiaroscuro world of fairy tales and fables is not for the faint of heart, or certain races, which I won’t name out of politeness. The scene: Humpty Dumpty, upon coming home to find his children slaughtered, halved and pasted to the wall, takes his own life by hanging. Mrs. Dumpty comes home after a late night at the office and makes the grisly discovery. She is sad, but not as sad as she thinks she should be. Kids love this one.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian



“Bradley Whitford Stole My Jacket” by Roman HalpernBradley Whitford Stole My Jacket

Watercolors on off-brand paper towels
Anger isn’t always an untamable force. True red-hot fury can be channelled into remarkable productivity when properly corralled. Halpern, a master of the “Rage Art” trend of the late 1980s, used his everyday murderous distemper to produce works of all-too-rare beauty. His work is considered to be without parallel in its exquisite, simmering passion. He is currently serving two concurrent life sentences in San Quentin.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian





“Leftover$ Again??????” by Roberta BundrickLeftover$ Again??????

Materials: Oils and good intentions on poster board
Could there be a greater ennui — a more profound state of stagnation — than that found in death? Heaven is a place where there is no laughter, as there is no pain from which to escape. Most of those who pass Saint Peter’s gate spend their more eventful evenings watching reruns of “Bones” and reheating last night’s pasta. Hell is true agony, but heaven is worse: it’s a mild disappointment.
– Spencer Bainbridge, Historialogian



“Whoops, a Self-Portrait”by Mendy TavendishWhoops, a Self-Portrait

Materials: oils, canv…
This piece depicts the artist hard at work, painting one of the famously sweeping landscapes of Saxony when, whoops! she’s accidentally painted herself painting the countryside, rather than painting the countryside itself. The artist appears not terribly flummoxed, but more nonplussed and perturbed, as this was a common theme in her work. The most famous examples of this being “Boats on the Chesapeake Oh Darn It Nevermind It’s a Self-Portrait”, “A Field of Flowers Oh Crap Hold On”, and “I Swear to God this Next One is Going to Be a Bowl of Fruit”.
 — David Cairns, Artologist




“What a Nice Day!” by Effi MainzWhat a Nice Day!

Materials: Prozac, Effexor, Cymbalta, Vivactil, lithium
This piece shows a woman carefree, confident, and in control of her own destiny. She’s on top of the world, soaring effortlessly through the skies of her many successes. The balloons challenge but fail to best her personal buoyancy. She’s doing great. She definitely doesn’t have a difficult relationship with her mother. She’s definitely capable of making it through a full day of work without having to hyperventilate in the lady’s restroom. She definitely sleeps soundly, for eight full hours, every single night of the week. She doesn’t have any problems with alcohol. Seriously, I swear, there is no irony in this piece!
 — David Cairns, Artologist

“Last Ride at the Water Park” by Tiffany VeastLast Ride at the Water Park

Created during what Veast playfully refers to as her “PJ Harvey Period”, “Last Ride” is a moody blend of oils on repurposed canvas. For nearly 20 years, critics and artists alike have argued over whether this piece is a statement about body image acceptance or if it’s of a deeper matter. Like all of Veast’s work, this piece contains her trademark “girl with stringy hair”, but unlike the majority of her work, this piece depicts a girl wearing stylish clothing, albeit a bikini. When asked about this piece in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Veast answered, “lol idk :p”.
– Baressa Mertz, Finger-painting Historian



“Geneva Leonardson, 1952” by Richard EmpleGeneva Leonardson, 1952

One of the lesser-known pieces by Emple, a B-side if you will, “Geneva Leonardson” is both tribute to Emple’s longtime crush and the only acknowledgement of the artist’s limited stature. Diagnosed with dwarfism as a mature adult, Emple had lived his life in complete denial of his condition, and had believed himself to be equal with normal people. The real Geneva Leonardson was a waitress at Emple’s favorite cafe, whom Emple courted for several years. After his diagnosis, Emple created “Geneva Leonardson”, capturing his view of Leonardson whilst reconciling with the painful truth of his capacity.
– Meredith Blesser, curator for Tucson Museum of Recent Art