Monday, June 17, 2013

Who Is This Artist?



Males born in Wisconsin receive certain gifts at birth: a full keg of beer, a cow suitable for tipping, coronary arteries good for about fifty years of unlimited dairy and brat consumption (smoking not included), and the guarantee that tailgating without leaving one's apartment or home is not a punishable offense in non-football months. Greenbush Boy believes females born within the state receive at birth pink sedatives to deal with what lays ahead for them, though he is not sure of that.

When Greenbush Boy left Wisconsin for Los Angeles, he took with him only the keg of beer and his quarter-clogged arteries. Elsie the Cow had long since left his backyard for some fast talking bovine who would lead her down far too many garden paths. Eventually they did marry and produce fine tippers of their own. Greenbush Boy's tailgating activities ended when he moved to a town that made movies about fantasy football rivalries but had no interest in a real team of their own.

One Sunday, when none of the sporting events actually interested him, and many decades before poker tournaments became a spectator sport worth breaking a six pack over, Greenbush Boy found himself walking along a gentrified stretch of Melrose Avenue. By the early 90s Melrose Avenue had morphed from a scarred battle zone of flop houses, bath houses, and abandoned houses to a trendy neighborhood filled with vintage clothing shops, antiquarian book dealers, art galleries, and burger shops with valet parking.

Now Greenbush Boy prides himself on being a big art connoisseur. Usually his tastes drift towards pieces where human-like children stare out at you with saucer eyes, or dogs play poker in smoke-filled basements, or large breasted women, wearing less apparel than he does in a shower, wash hot rods. Occasionally he'll  walk through a gallery serving wine and cheese and just stare at a piece of artwork that catches his fancy. The more Greenbush Boy stares, the more he drinks. The more he drinks, the more he drools out opinions on art, politicis, religon, and city politics to whomever is around. Then like the third act of a movie, someone takes ubrage with his words and decks him.       


Now Greenbush Boy never drank to the point where he awoke in a bed with bags of coke around him, in a city he never heard of, next to a dead hooker named Celia or Kalie or Felice. But semi-expensive wine, especially out of cans or brown paper bags, has always played havoc with his metabolism. He finds out weeks later about the strange and wondrous purchases made in his name using on smudgy receipts. Two such purchases are these pieces by an artist named ELLIOT.
Who is the artist Elliot? Is he alive or dead? Did he produce more of this form of outsider art? Greenbush Boy has no idea whether Elliot is his first or last name or maybe a pen name. The purchases were so long ago, the name of the gallery is now as lost to time as the brain cells that first fixated themselves on these watercolors. No doubt that storefront has also disappeared, replaced by other galleries, or shops, or or high priced valet only burger joints. Receipts! Greenbush Boy don't keep no stinkin receipts. 

These two pieces still fascinate Greenbush Boy as a combination of both Harvey and Howard exists within him. He used a foot pail one time to boil some eggs, but forgot to change the water. He hasn't eaten a boiled egg since. The house dress was requisitioned by an ex girlfriend who found it absurd he would dare wear such an item with flip flops. The flip flops were hers as well.

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