Baby Got Back:
How My Backside Kept Me Out of a Show
And How I Fixed My Bottom.
“I’m sorry, but your backside just isn’t up to par.”
And that’s exactly how I got rejected from the first art show I ever applied to. Bummer. The good news was I had a problem I knew I was fully capable of solving (sans squats - thank God).
So that’s exactly what I did… I went about researching how to take my backside from raggedy a$$ looking, to top notch. Turns out that brown paper; double sided adhesive; and a little bit of careful cutting, will take you from amateur to professional.
And that was fine. Except I hated the paper. I don’t know… I mean don’t get me wrong… the stark brown was a huge improvement over the exposed canvas frame and staples but it was so… blah. Who cares? Right? I mean no one sees it (except some guy that judges you for your unkept behind) but like, now I couldn’t not think about it… Clearly some guy cared and now I did… maybe there were more of us bottom judgers out there? Something to think about for sure, but I wasn’t about to re-invent the wheel.
Until I had to do just that. As the late and oh so great Bob Ross once said, “there are no mistakes in art; just happy little accidents,” so when I incorrectly measured my canvases and ordered 25 custom frames which, you guessed it, did not work for my paintings, I didn’t panic. OK… Fine… I panicked for a bit. I was freaking out. WTF was I going to do with 25 custom frames that didn’t quite fit? F*ck. I don’t want to admit how many times I stood in my underwear in my closet (my closet serves double duty as art supply storage), fiddling with frames and finished paintings. Until one day, utterly perplexed, frame in one hand, painting in the other, half dressed in my closet I had an “ah-ha!” moment: attach the painting to the top of the frame. And wow… just wow… the final product was gorgeous. Not only did the frame now work for the art, but the frames that had partially hidden the work before, now served as a beautiful riser for the art. As I flipped over the art/frame combo I noticed the back had a clean look and I had a split second where I envisioned this back as the art in the frame and bingo… an idea was born: what if the artwork’s behind hid a little bit of extra fun?
Today I create all of my wall art on wood panel. Every piece is framed (because I’m a f*cking professional); every piece is encased in high gloss resin; and now, every piece has an awesome “backstory” (see what I did there?). What started as my first of many failures in my art business (and I’m sure plenty more to come) has become not only a learning experience and a chance to up my game, but an opportunity to stand out. I’ll take it.
To the juror that called out my ugly backside?
Thank you and hey, keep your eye out for my 2022 submission - because this time, I do plan on being accepted). ;)