I must admit, I think I was guilty of a slight case of mission drift here. Not quite quite on the level of “whoops! I’ve just carpet bombed a wedding.” but I did lose my way briefly. A while back I was driven to try and rescue a painting that had been scrawled over by a guy whose “art” seems to consist of drawing on top of paintings by amateur artists, old prints and photographs. I was annoyed by the lack of original ideas in his art practices and how his being independently wealthy has given him more opportunities to get publicity through being able to hire high profile exhibition space and get more attention than his low levels of talent and original thinking would normally allow. You can read about what I got up to here and since that time I have heard of others who have done the same. There is now a facebook page devoted to Putting The Love Back, inspired by, amongst other things, this series of events. You can even get involved if you fancy, so long as you do whatever you do without any cynicism. This is where this particular painting is on shaky ground. I was relieved when the last of the “He who shall not be named and is not Voldemort”’s paintings departed from the charity shop on Kings Road St Leonards. It was interesting the order in which they disappeared. The larger the percentage of said bloke’s artistry that covered the surface, the longer it took to disappear from the shop.The new batch of glum paintings appeared in the same charity shop at the same time I discovered that this year’s Coastal Currents (the local art festival) would feature not one, but four shows by said glum artist. It’s amazing what you can achieve with money and less amazing just what an uphill struggle things can be without and I must admit I was a bit miffed and felt the urge to add a bit of love to another one of his works. By the time I finally had a spare few quid, however, all the one’s of his that were painted over other people’s art had all gone and all that were left were a pile of what I could only assume were his rejects. I assume this because they were not signed and that they were all priced at around the £15 mark, proportionally cheaper than his usual, Erm, masterpieces. I picked up a couple, one for me and one for my girlfriend (who wants a go) but I started to feel that I had drifted somewhat from my moral high ground, a feeling heightened when said girlfriend saw the rough cut of the video diary for this painting and suggested that I came off as a massive bitch (i’m paraphrasing here). The worst possible scenario here being that people might actually started feeling sorry for this chap, although judging from the conversations I have had with numerous locals ‘round here, he seems to be disliked by pretty much anyone outside the Kings Road / Norman Road, st leonards bubble. My petty envies aside and seeing as I got in the Towner and he didn’t (so ne ne ne ne neh! 😉 )I must be doing alright regardless of my lack of money to throw at a situation to create the impression of success. The thought that my cock ups, prep drawings, failed experiments or however you would describe the pile of unsigned canvas’ and board that have unceremoniously been dropped off for charity, says something about the size of the guy’s ego. Around my flat somewhere I have a box with I’d say five or six hundred assorted a4 prep sketches for various paintings and drawings in, I give some away sometimes, tucked away in books or prints as a bonus gesture, but I never would I be vain enough to donate them to charity, I am not Leonardo and I do not see everything that flows from my hand as having monetary value.
So why did I paint over a painting of this guy’s that was not already painted over someone else’s work? Seeing as I’m not rescuing anything. In a word, Karma. I feel that somehow, somewhere, my doing to him what he has done countless times to others evens the score a little. Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. So neh! If you hurry (or if no one else can be bothered) you can buy the painting here. Maybe whatisface will buy it and paint over one of mine…. Although I would get the money, which would be nice.