Wednesday, May 17, 2006

the foley art market

You may think that Foley, Alabama's 34th annual "Art in the Park" was the only place to experience a fine selection of Foley's amateur art on Saturday, but you would be sadly mistaken. Sure, there was a lot to see at there in the park, and you would be seeing it now had the various artists, perhaps fearing the very real possibility that I would come home and render my own cartoon flamingo paintings, been a little less nervous with my snapping pictures left and right, but the handful of antique stores scattered about the small Foley downtown also had quite a bit to offer with the added benefit of being camera friendly.
By the way, I don't frequent antique stores for the art. I do love the vintage movie posters and product advertisements, but they are often overpriced or in too poor a condition to be worth the purchase. For instance, I came across some nice Chesterfield ads sporting a young Bing Crosby in part attributing his smooth voice to that particular brand of cigarette, but each was a bit too yellowed and torn at the edges.
I also found a nice stack of Tommy Dorsey records, but each was too scratched and really not worth the hassle of attempting to bring on the seven and a half hour car trip home in eighty-degree weather.
But I digress. This is supposed about three particular paintings that I came across on Saturday.
Walk into any given antique store across the south and you will be guaranteed to encounter a statue or painting of Jesus, but only in Alabama will one expect to find paintings of George Wallace.
(Again, click to embiggen on any of these).
It was sixty-five bucks. Had I talked them down to fifteen it would've been mine.
Believe it or not, George Wallace, Jr. was actually there across the street in the park campaigning for Lt. Governor at the very moment this was taken. I would have also paid fifteen bucks for a shot of him holding the painting, but that didn't happen either.
From a distance, I thought this next selection was meant to be Lyndon Johnson.
father lyndon
Upon further inspection, I am convinced that it is Lyndon Johnson. However, the priest outfit threw me off a bit. There was no explanation for why our thirty-sixth president would be posing as a Catholic priest, and one was left to wonder if this was some sort of political statement being made by the artist. Antique stores are not the place for political statements, but, then again, I suppose an artist never goes about his or her work with the hope that it will someday end up in an antique store in Foley, Alabama alongside the likes of this:
Yes, I know it would have been kind of me to give you warning before subjecting you to this disturbing sight, but that would've kept you from feeling a mere fraction of the repulsion that I experienced upon stumbling into it. Besides, it isn't nearly as frightening in it's small incarnation there. You really must embiggen this one for the full effect.
I don't know who she is or if she played a pivotal role in state or national politics at any point in her life, but she strangely resembles a girl I went to middle school with. She was an angry lass, as I recall.
Who could blame her?
Who indeed?
Anyway, I can't remember her name, but she once blindsided me with her rather large purse to the side of my young skull after mistaking me for the kid who had just hit her with a snowball. With ringing ears, I turned and took a reactionary swing at her, but that only angered her more and worked to further convince her of my guilt. It, like most of my childhood fights, ended rather badly for me there in the principal’s office trying to explain why I fought and was subsequently defeated by the big girl with the misplaced eyes, though I’m pretty sure I called her by her actual name during the formal inquiry.
But you digress.
Indeed, I do. Where was I?
You were finished but at a loss for how to wrap it all up. This led you to take a strange tangent.
How else should I end it?
This is good enough. We appear to be out of coffee.
Ah, so we are.


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