Everyone has no doubt seen them, or maybe even owned one or two of them: pretty but generic paintings of landscapes and nature scenes that might have once lived in a backroad Motel 6 or the rec room in your grandparent’s house that are now for sale for a buck at your local thrift store or lawn sale.
However, in the true eco-spirit of recycling, reusing and repurposing, artists Chris McMahon and Thyrza Segal turn those innocuous yet dull artworks into something very original and unusual by painting terrifying monsters into those bucolic scenes. Both artists (who work separately in different cities, and not part of a collaborating team) are spearheading a new fad in art of people repurposing discarded paintings by introducing unusual elements into the scene, giving new life and value to something that might otherwise wind up in a landfill.
Part of the charm in these paintings is the amateur nature of the base painting. In fact, some of the best and humorous have the least skillful backgrounds. Perhaps these painters continued their craft, or perhaps they moved on to other talents – regardless, they’d probably be amused to see their work remixed as it is today. Still, McMahon in particular, acknowledges these unlikely collaborations by signing his creations with the original artists’ signature, along with “& McMahon.”
But is it truly art? You can discuss that amongst yourselves, but today on Halloween, it sure is a lot of fun! Happy Halloween everybody!