A Van Gogh!

A Van Gogh!
From the artists at ArtWorks945

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Couldn't Help Myself!

I admit -- I became dismayed and disheartened. Jean Clee changed her mind. She doesn’t want to trade for Ode to Life. And not a single other person has shown any interest.

Call it impatience. Call it desperation. Call it a lesson in not doing drugs.

But I decided to modify Ode to Life.

I’ve been doing some home repair and so had nails, paint and caulk lying around my basement. Over the weekend, I put those to artistic use. I took Ode To Life off its frame, nailed it to a board, dipped nails into paint and nailed them onto the painting, and then put caulk and acrylic in various places.

The result is what you see above. I figure it needs a new name. So I’m calling it ‘Blow To Life’.

I was initially appalled at what I had done and so drank a whole bunch of wine to ease my mind. The next morning, however, I woke up and, despite a persistent hangover, came to like the new painting. Indeed, I started feeling downright pleased with myself. But then, as I was walking to Ace Hardware to get some more nails and a pair of rubber gloves, I ran into Herb Jackson.

Herb is an art professor here and is a deservedly well-known artist. His art, in my opinion, is absolutely fantastic. I feel very lucky that I run into him every so often around campus. We had a lovely conversation during which he told me about the change in technique from the impressionists to Van Gogh. As we talked, however, I told him that I might modify the painting I had. That was a lie -- I had already done it but was still feeling a little bashful about what I had done and so couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth. He told me that I should be careful because it is illegal to deface another artist’s work. After all, I don’t own the copyright.

Fuck! Fuck, fuck and another fuck.

What was I going to do? Had I done something illegal? Or worse yet, had I done something stupid? Have I doomed the Van Gogh Project?

Herb and I finished our conversation, we shook hands, and I worried about these question all the way to the Ace store. As I was perusing boxes of nails, though, an answer appeared to me: I decided that the only way forward was to trust in the power of art. I decided that I would take a poll.

If anyone thinks that I have defaced Ode To Life, please write ‘Boo’ in the comments section of this blog. By saying ‘Boo’, you will at one and the same time express allegiance to the artist who painted Ode To Life and express your dissatisfaction with my addition to it. All those who don’t comment at all will be interpreted as thinking that I have at the very least not worsened Ode To Life and so can’t be accused of defacing it (and hence of not doing anything illegal). On the other hand, if anyone particularly likes the changes, feel free to write ‘Yay!’

And of course, if anyone wants to trade for Blow To Life, let me know.


  1. Dear Uncle Paul,

    I love your art collection. You should concentrate on acquiring more. Collect and they [traders] will come.

    Plus I could use tips on picking up pieces. Our place is artless with begging walls. You know, a way apart from paying with reasonably absolute (not really) currency.

    Lots of Love from Chitown,

    ps Perhaps we can arrange a painting exchange. An original Pual Studtmann for a Mary E.H. Mueller?

  2. When aliens attack? Maybe now "Ode to Life from Outer Space"?

  3. I like that -- "Ode to Life From Outer Space".