Each Monday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets around Los Angeles.
Yes, this celebration of women's mammalian possibilities was painted by an honest-to-God Little Rascal. Weirder still, the Rascal who grew up boob-happy enough to craft this was not Spanky.
Turns out, the culprit is Robert Mallon, who played “Bobby” in some thirteen Our Gang shorts before turning to film-industry jobs and the painting of ripe and golden breasts. Sure, he painted other things, too, but with little enthusiasm or attentiveness. I mean, just try to find the right arm of the leather-jacketed fellow at the bar.
You can gape at this the Pasadena Antique Mall (309 East Green Street.) It's just one of the hundreds of astonishing artworks that enrich this city's thrift, antique and junk shops. Here's an informal sampling of some of L.A.'s Crap Art Glory:
1. First off, from the excellent Council Thrift Shop at 11801 Santa Monica:
While this horse is not as fully imagined as Robert Mallon's bosoms, the artist deserves credit for something many junkshop painters fail: creating representational art that actually suggests what it represents.
No word on why it has an evergreen drill bit attached to its right rear leg, though.
2. Studies in Crap regulars might recognize this nightmare from the Goodwill at 1535 S. Western Avenue.
With its dominant golds and reds, and its emphasis upon female horror, this can only be a tribute to USC frat parties.
3. Unfortunately, Fight On, Coed! has since been purchased. As a minor compensation, the good folks at Goodwill have put out this curious still life:
The third time I looked at it I finally understood. That's not some buttery loaf floating in that teacup koi pond. That's a hat. (Note that the soul of one teacup is ascending from its mortal vessel.)
4. Here's a comparatively major still life still available at Relic in Burbank (8311 San Fernando Road.)
Just like real Starbucks Coffee, this brew comes in a red cup topped with drier lint and leaking a jet of urine.
5. The same artist also had vision enough to imagine Alfred Hitchcock as a koala.
6. Much of the history of Western art involves paintings with titles like Virgin with Child. In keeping with that tradition, here is Virgin with Winslows.
You can score this study of TV's Urkel at Burbank's What's New Boutique, a dense paradise of junk next door to Relic at 8321 San Fernando Road.
7. Cantankerous Zach, who has been running the joint for fifteen years, proudly yanked a tarp off a great heap of frames and paintings in the yard behind the store. There I marveled over numerous doozies, but my favorite hung inside:
I have a half-dozen jokes in mind about this one, but I'll hold them back in favor of this observation: like the Little Rascal and whoever painted the Family Matters gang, this artist pretty much achieved what he or she was aiming for: giving a purple balloon to that creepy woman from Poltergeist.
Some artists have had to hide their true intentions. As your Crap Archivist revealed a couple weeks ago, this demure portrait (found at the Goodwill at 6933 La Tijera) has a secret.
Flip it over, and . . .
Thank God that trick doesn't work with the Urkel. Still, this one only seems sexy. Take a closer look at her mid-section.
It's just one big nose away from this!
9. Junk shop artists find great inspiration in the female form. Unfortunately, the female form doesn't get much in return. Consider these finds from the Council Thrift Outlet Store at 1052 S. Fairfax.
Your face would be red, too, if some painter made you stretch your Gumby arms into a nude half-Swastika.
10. Pop Quiz! Let's say a naked woman made of baked yams plops down on your shapeless, one-armed easy chair. What do you do?
ANSWER: You 409 until that seat cushion is no longer the organdy of her flesh.
That's ten, Los Angeles! Look out for more in the months ahead right here in Studies in Crap!
And, hey, since we're here already, why not two more? Both hail from Relic and that same determined artist behind and Piss Starbucks and Hitchcock, Marsupial.
Their subject? A trip to a fanciful Europe, where after a long constitutional the Arc de Triumph relaxes in field of violets . . .
. . . and kindly royals demonstrate a more common touch by helpfully writing “Windsor Castle” across the face of Windsor Castle.
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