Thursday, May 18, 2006

Massachusetts just got better

Did you guys know that Dedham Massachusetts is the home of the MUSEUM OF BAD ART?

I just spent 20 minutes on their web site, marveling.

What is left?....Tears.

I remember, when I was a small child, my mother had this friend called Lelo. (Pronouned Leelow) I don't even know if that's the correct spelling, I was very small the last time I saw this woman. I thought she was very exotic, because she was German, still had the accent, and had a St. Bernard and a pool. Wow, I thought, she's cultured and RICH!!

Brief aside: I don't understand these people who have children and suddenly can't go anywhere. Or they can't leave the house without a collapsible playpen, two dozen diaper bags, a few hundred toys, and a fucking DVD player in the SUV or mini-van. Jesus Christ. Why? As a child, I sat in more people's kitchens, while my parents had afternoon drinks with their pals, and I'm no worse for it. If we left for an afternoon, I didn't have a choice of forty million toys to take with me and if I forgot my Pitiful Pearl doll* or some other favorite, too fucking bad. And I looked out the car window at the scenery or chatted with my parents. Watching movies in a moving vehicle. I ask you.

Anyway, as I said, I sat in a lot of people's homes while my parents (well, mother mostly, as she had afternoons off and worked nights, while dad was working days) while the scotch flowed and cocktail hour was going on. So at Lelo's house, I would wander into the living room, to see if I could pet the dog. (HUGE St. Bernard called Heidi. Amazing.) And this woman, who I thought - simply because she was European - would have been fairly sophisticated compared to most of the folks in my hometown, had some of the most frightening art imaginable.

It wasn't scary, dark Expressionist charcoals or "Sturm and Drang" German woodcuts or anything cool like that.

No, far from it. Lelo, this exotic, intelligent, sophisticated European lady had a wall full of SAD CLOWN PAINTINGS. Black backgrounds...possibly velvet, my memory is hazy.


I was PETRIFIED of those things. Though I weighed 30 pounds and could be blown away by a stiff breeze, I was less afraid of the 125 pound DOG than I was of those fucking things.



* It's true. Once on the market for children was a doll called "Pitiful Pearl." She had ratty hair, was dressed in rags and had a teardrop...a TEARDROP in the middle of her cheek. Nobody believes me but THIS WAS ONE OF MY TOYS as a child. I also lived next to a cemetery. I just realized why the other kids were scared of me.

2 Comments:

Anonymous daydreamer said...

in my school there was a painting of a little boy standing forlornly alone with a tear running down his face. the superstition was that any house that had this painting would burn down. maybe we imagined he was crying and on his own cos all his family burned in a fire. sadly the school never went on fire.

20 May, 2006 20:18  
Blogger Shamus said...

Sad clown paintings are scary. Also those big eyed children paintings. Who thought that was a good idea?

http://besmirched.tripod.com/guide.html

29 May, 2006 01:07  

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