Thursday, December 2, 2010

What to do with old studio props

My friand and I decided to go on a studio tour. There were a bunch of our friends who cleaned their studios up, put their paintings on display, served coffee and chocolates, and hung out. It was well advertised, and pretty much well attended. Seriously, the arts community is thriving and there's a lot of talent here in Michigan.

Being industrious, my friend says to me, Hey, we can load up your car with my resale junk and drop it off between studio stops. I said, Okay, load it up girl and let's get on the road! She puts baskets, a leopard throw, some old dishes and a mannequin. The mannequin's legs went in first. Then we buckled the torso of the old bald mannequin into the back seat. No wig. Poor thing!

Girlfriend says: Hey, she's vintage! You know how much this is WORTH? No, I say. She looks like a really big Barbie. My friend says - She's an ANTIQUE! Oh, yeah, I say. Let's get on the road.

You can imagine the looks we were getting, driving around with this naked, bald lady seat-belted into my back seat. The first stop at the studio tour garnered lots of stares from the non-artist volunteers.
We get to the resale shop, and commence to emptying the car. My friend, Tammy, tells the front-counter lady about the naked girl in the back steat. A vintage mannequin! She's worth a fortune! What a great find! She is convincing this very skeptical counter-lady to take this antique.

Tammy says: They're gonna take the mannequin! Awesome I say. I am having a hard time getting the torso free of the seat belt. The mannequin's arms are in the way. I grab one arm, it comes off and I put it on the roof of my car, while I grab the mannequin's head - trying to get a grip on her torso. I am wondering how axe-murderers ever bother following through with  moving a dead body. Girlfriend says, be careful! I'm trying, I say. She's really heavy for a piece of plastic. By now I have the torso free. It is out of the car. Oh, it's slipping! Shit! I grab her other arm, and it comes loose from her shoulder. The torso and head start to slide from my grip. Dammit! Torso falls, head first, on the pavement.

It's that moment of silence that follows breaking Great-Grandma's gravy bowl at Thanksgiving in front of the whole family. We stand there. I can tell Tammy is really upset. I am holding an arm with one hand, and covering my mouth with the other. Shocked! I just dropped Vintage Life Size BARBIE head first on the pavement! My friend is clearly upset. I am so sorry, I say. I hand her the arm, and bend over to pick up the mannequin. Her face is smashed! There's a pile of flesh-colored paint chips where her nose hit the ground. Her eyeball is loose and rolling around inside her hollow head. An eyelash is sitting in the pile of paint chips. Shit. Now I feel horrible.

Counter Lady at the resale shop says we can't dispose of the body in the dumpster. Okay, no bodies in the dumpster. Fine. Back she goes, in the car. I am so sorry! Oh, how terrible. Can't believe her arms came loose. Why didn't I grab a breast on the torso for leverage......whatever. I feel like shit.

Tammy is quiet in the car as we drive off. Back to studio tour, she says. We'll figure out what to do with the body later. I am wondering when we're gonna get pulled over for having a big-size Barbie body in the back seat. whose face is smashed and is missing arms.

We notice a friend's address on the studio tour. Tammy has an idea. It's a good one, too! We pull in front of our Plein Air pal's driveway. Cars are coming and going, patrons are still touring his home studio.
Mannequin comes out of back seat. We struggle to get her legs and torso connected, on the stand. In his driveway. She's naked! Yes, she is. Tammy puts a sign on the mannequin's neck - Five Dolla Make You Holla Studio Tour. We are giggling now. This is good! Poor thing, her girl parts are gonna get cold, I say. She says, here, give me the studio tour flyer. We tape it to her plastic pubic area. Okay, I say. Better! We notice her eyeball is rolling at the foot of the drive. I pick it up and give it to Tammy. We put it in the mannequin's open hand.

It's been a month. Large Barbie - now dubbed Mona Lisa is still there. I have pictures on my cell phone, but I don't know how to download them. I'll stop by on my way to painting Saturday, and take a photo of the poor naked girl at the end of Heiner's driveway.

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