A message from a painting in Walmart’s art section

Hey! Hey you there! Look this way for a second, no down here, right next to the big yellow smiling face and guaranteed lowest prices. You like art, don’t you? Of course you do. I can tell because you sprang for the more expensive but aesthetically pleasing box of off-brand Kleenex.

Don’t bother trying to hide it; I can see it right next to the NASCAR branded salt and pepper shakers. I can tell I’m dealing with a real connoisseur, someone who can truly appreciate the myriad of subjects my expertly painted, one of a kind canvas deals with.

Oh yeah, by one of the kind I mean that there’s no other painting exactly like me on a molecular level. Don’t believe me? Check the one behind me. It’s slightly different. Hell, check the entire factory run if you want to. Besides, the sticker wouldn’t lie; it says handmade. Someone’s hands made this. Then a few hundred more — but that just helps offset the cost! Which, as you already know, helps guarantee the lowest prices!

Have you ever been to a gallery? Do you know what they charge? Don’t bother answering; I already know what you’re going to say: “Only pretentious jerks actually go into those.” And you’re right! Who else would spend all that money on a drawing? Trust me though when I say it’s expensive. They don’t even give you a frame.

As you’ll note, I’m bordered by a tasteful frame. Look at the workmanship, it’s like it never even came out of a mould. The metallic paint is so life-like; it almost looks like genuine imitation bronze. If you put it in that one place in the hall, the big empty space right between the bathroom and the towel closet, no one will be able to tell the difference. The complete lack of natural light will also ensure I’ll be passed down to your children, who will no doubt garner an appreciation for the finer things in life, what with being surrounded by fine artifacts like me.

That is, unless you decide to redecorate the house and donate me to the Goodwill. Don’t worry, I won’t mind. It just means I’ll be appreciated by more people. I have a message to get out, a story. I deal with serious issues.

They’re written right there across the canvas, see? “Friendship. Hope. Love.” That’s what those artist types call “context.” I get right to the point. Who needs a three-page essay-slash-manifesto-slash-biography by some self-aggrandizing freak when I can just come right out and say what I mean?

You don’t have the time to spend thinking about theory. There’s only like two minutes of commercials and that’s about the time it takes to microwave some soup. Who gives a flip about colour dynamics, or mimesis, or compositional tension? I get it; you’re busy. I won’t waste your time. Or your money!

Who painted this? With what? Why? All the mystery just makes it easier to appreciate me. Provenance? Prov-who-the-hell-cares.

Whatever, you know I’m good ’cause it looks like that old guy made me. Ben Gogh or some shit. Wait maybe it was DaVinci? No wait, all that guy did was write about his code. Maybe? It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I’ll match the color of your dining room, and you can use the money you save to buy cigarettes — they won’t even have to be the cheap ones!