Some people refer to altered thrift store art as “piggyback,” “upcycled,” or “corrected” art, or as “retro interventions,” “redirected paintings,” “collaborative works” or “makeovers.”
I prefer to think of it as an addition, not a revision. I’m just adding visitors to a world that someone else created. I like these found paintings. If anything, they are under-appreciated. All that effort! They inspire me. And working in retroactive partnership with a stranger (maybe living, maybe not) helped me get over the fear of painting. This series might not be exactly new or brave or high-brow, but it gives these found paintings I love a second chance to be shown—and I touched art supplies, which is no small thing, in my world.
Hopefully the goodness of the found landscape or still life is still evident, and my visitors invite participatory narrative, if you’ll pardon kind of a barfy “artists’s statementy” sounding term. (I just made it up, but I bet it’s not new. …yup, Googled it.)
After much consideration, I settled on making my additions in acrylic. Many of the original paintings are oil, and technically you are never, ever, ever supposed to paint in acrylic on oil. This is because of adherence problems, and the possibility of bubbling as the oil paint oxidizes. But I chose acrylic so that if at some point someone wants to erase my visitors, they may have better luck. (By the way, bubbling is not that likely, since the original paintings are several years old and have had time to oxidize.)
There are imperfections, marks, wear and damages in many of the original paintings, and my additions may not last forever.
Then again, imperfections, damages and impermanence… Art imitates life!
This series was on display at Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot in Bozeman June 4 — Sept. 8, 2014