January 16, 2009

My Gallery of 'Paint By Numbers' Paintings...

I've never collected anything. I'm crazy about Flea Markets and there are all types of things that i absolutely love; transistor radios, vintage dresses, classic furniture, old luggage and handmade items. But there was never that one thing that i compulsively shopped for. But last year, something snapped and i started buying 'Paint By Numbers' paintings. The question is, 'Why?' And like most collectors....i'm really not sure. Just love the whimsy i guess!

They were first brought to my attention by my buddy Marlin Seal who is one of the neatest guys i know and an avid gatherer of cool stuff. He has an amazing collection including things like boxes of 'Mr. T' Breakfast cereal, a 'Pee Wee Herman' Doll (still in the box of course), an autograph picture of O.J. Simpson from his professional football days, Star Trek Spaghetti O's. Actually i made the last one up, but who knows, he might have that too. All of this stuff is in storage somewhere in Mississippi....a museum just waiting to happen!

So,...hmmmm...Paint By Numbers.... I have about 20 of them now.
The cool thing about them is that they usually cost around 3 euro's. Typically, i'll find one at a market, hold it up to ask the vendor how much it is and he/she will say, "2 euro's for that frame" never guessing that i actually want the tacky picture inside of it! My favorite? Probably this Weenie Dog. He's just so pathetic!

And, just for the record, i'm not the only funny pants that does this. They are actually quite collectable in the states. I've since found out that the Smithsonian actually has an exhibition and a very interesting website on the subject. There was also an absolutely brilliant show at the Corey Helford Gallery in which they gave artists old 'Paint By Number' paintings to rework and then sold them for charity. To view 'before-and-after' shots of these paintings, which i highly recommend, click on this link, go to 'Past Shows' and then choose 'Charity By Numbers' in the drop down menu.

But gosh, I hope that they don't become popular here in Holland. Heaven forbid that they should go up to 5 euro's a piece!
(click on the photographs to view a larger image)

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