On a visit to my homeland of London I decided I would bring along a small painting of a boy, which was given to me by my friend Laura, who is more of a ‘cat’ person. The painting had a somewhat haunting feeling to it and I had given it the title ‘Lonely’. Laura had found it in a thrift store in Tucson and I had always regarded the subject of the portrait as being of a small Mexican boy. I took it to a Tales From The Trash exhibition in California and it was bought by my friend Tom Laura. It turns out Mr. Laura only bought the painting because he liked the frame, and he proceeded to remove the canvas, walk off with the frame and return the painting to me. Which, in hindsight seems like the kind of thing Tom would do.
At my Father’s art show a man bought the painting and Dad wrote him a receipt and instructed the man on where to go and pay for it (apparently the Artists aren’t trusted to handle the money). For some unknown reason, the buyer didn’t end up paying for the painting, and so ‘Lonely’ came home from the exhibition and was returned to me, once again.
So here I sit in London with the painting that has been ‘sold’ twice before, and yet still I have it in my possession.
Before I set out for Brixton to meet Andy, and even now I can’t really explain why, I had grabbed my little twice-sold but unsold ‘Lonely’ painting and placed it in my shoulder bag.
Stephen then starts to tell me a story…
We’re both standing there and I’d say we were trembling, but I don’t want to speak for Stephen. I know that I was.
Stephen Wright plans on incorporating ‘Lonely’ into his ongoing, living, evolving life work, The House Of Dreams, which satisfies me to no end. A painting from a thrift store in Tucson becoming part of a real piece of art in a house in Dulwich is a very nice end to its travels.
Update: This story took place in October 2016. In May 2019 I returned to London with a suitcase or two full of Thrift Store Art from America and did, indeed, put on a show.
Dreams can come true.
Stephen Wright offers tours of his home from time to time. A schedule is posted on his web site Stephen Wright, Artist
Harry Bloom is the Artist who kindly allowed me to hang my Trashy painting alongside his not-Trashy painting. He’s also my Dad.
Brixton East 1871 was available for hire for all kinds of events until early 2018