paulette's hypermeaningful weblog


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Under the Paint: The Burrito Shop Painting

Here is a painting of a restaurant behind two cars.

Ask anybody on the street to tell you what the great paintings of the twenty-first century are, and nine times out of ten, they'll say, "That one with the burrito shop and the two cars in front of it.  That one is just so great."  The other one out of ten will say, "I'm gonna wait 'til the century's over before I decide."

So yes, this is an iconic painting that's like a cultural icon because it's so common and well known and permeates everybody's psyche like ink in a sponge, but did you know the back story, the story that's behind the painting, or as we like to say, under the paint.  It goes like this.

Paulette bought a canvas bigger than any canvas she'd bought before, 16" x 20", and she decided to use it because she had it, and so she used it, setting it up on her easel on the busy 2 lane, business district bus route next to the library parking lot.  She painted for a long time, and people asked her questions, and she kept painting, and some guy she'd talked to before said, "Hi, do you mind if I annoy you?"  and Paulette replied, "It depends on how intensely."  But he was a nice guy who she liked from her previous street conversation with him, so she said, "Oh, hi, you're ok, I like you."  And so he hovered a bit, looked at Paulette's struggle with the paint and then walked on down the line.

Directly behind Paulette was the edge of the Library parking lot with some block of concrete trellis/divider that people can sit on, and there was a guy sitting there listening to his reallysmartphone music while Paulette was humming audibly and with abandon, so they were really dueling it out, fighting for airtime in Paulette's ears, and on the guy's phone, the single word lyric repeated over and over, and finally Paulette said, "what is that lyric?" but the guy didn't speak English, he spoke Spanish, and so Paulette said, "Que es el lyrico?", and the guy said he didn't know, but then he listened again and said it's "dispara" which means shot, and he showed her his phone search which had the word "head-shot" on it because the rest of the lyric is "en la cabeza" which means "in the head."  So they were listening together to a song, an oeuvre about somebody who i guess got shot in the head.  And they both laughed deep belly laughs which shook them to the cores of their beings because life and death are too funny.

And then Paulette "finished" her painting, not feeling real great about the perspective on the roof, but chalking the whole experience up to experience.


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