8.14.2007

The Chesty Painting Post

So I don’t talk to my neighbors, mainly due to the language barrier, but there is one guy downstairs from me who I’ve been on relatively friendly terms with since I moved in. He goes by the name Cincinnati and is a pretty unique character. Guy is 50-60 something, has the longest yellow toenails ever recorded on a human being, walks a Paris Hilton style Chihuahua and has a mustache/frizz-hair combo that makes him look like the illegitimate son of Arch Campbell and Albert Einstein. He also takes any and every possible chance to flash the hang-loose signal and say “Right on. Right on”

So the other day I am getting out of my car with grocery bags and he accosts me on the stairs saying rather abruptly, “I need tot talk to you guy. I’ll be in your apartment in 10 minutes”. He then ran back into his apartment and I heard the door lock behind him. I was nervous that maybe he was pissed about something or even worse; wanted me to look after his dog for a weekend. 10 minutes later he’s wandering around my apartment shoeless and smelling like a rotten pipe. He makes idle comments about everything in the open and then gets to the point. “Hey guy, I know you are an artist. I look at your paintings through your blinds at night when I walk Boomer. I picked this up at a junk shop,” at which point he presents me with a small, battered canvas that smells like a truck stop bathroom, that has a picture of a woman’s face next to a jaguar that is roaring and pawing at what looks to be a sunset with a palm tree on it. Basically it looks like the kind of retro crap a 60’s porno director would have hanging in his shag carpeted lounge.

He continues, “I wanted to know if you paint me a picture on this, though it is a shame to paint over it. My daughter thinks it’s a crime to ruin the artist’s work!” I offer to use a small leftover canvas I had under my futon 1)to be nice and 2) because I don’t want that moldy piece of crap in my apartment any longer than I want this guy’s manky feet trodding allover my carpet. He presents me with a picture of Betty Pepper, a pinup girl used in old Dr. Pepper billboards. The photo (which also smells like a dead cat) has Cincinnati standing in front of what looks to be a factory billboard with this chick on the sign. He is grinning like a madman. I tell him I will paint him the canvas but it may take a while. He leaves very appreciative and happy. “OH WAIT!” he slams back up the stairs and beats on the door; “Could you make her chestier. I’m a boob guy!” He grins at me (he has no teeth, I feel I must mention that too for some reason) while making a gesture to his own overly developed chest region, and then leaves.

So now I’m stuck painting a boobjob on a vintage Dr. Pepper billboard or a crazy old man who lives downstairs. Not exactly news, but bizarre enough to share. I need to learn to say no to people. Hopefully my new neighbors will be a little more…well not this guy.

UPDATE: He's a poorly shot picture. So it turns out she’s ‘Peggy Pepper’ and I had the name wrong. And the building he’s standing in front of in the picture he left me is the Dr. Pepper factory in Texas. I rushed the painting tonight to get it done before heading off for the weekend. It’s nothing much, but it’s a fair mix of my white/black on color-wash style with the original character. All blue with white foreground and red lips. I’ll see how he likes it tomorrow.

1 comment:

Straight Razor said...

Fucking hysterical. How can i read that and not comment. Anyway, i discovered your blog while investigating the profile links for similar interests. Think NIN was the search link. Anyway, funny story. -razor