"Apocalyptic Gas Mask"

14" x 18"

So back in High School, I knew this guy Jeff Johnson. Although he was a few years older than my crowd, he always seemed to be at all the rock shows I went to, hunched over an ancient reel-to-reel video camera intently concentrating on immortalizing the action onstage.

Anyway, fast forward twenty years to when out of the blue I receive an e-mail from Jeff asking for my thoughts about the old days for a documentary he's making from his treasure trove of tapes. In the process of getting together to reminisce and swap stories, Jeff told me that he had tracked me down through the Galleries, and that in fact he had a painting or two that I might be interested in. However, since he was in Seattle, I was East, and nothing came of our conversation.

Fast forward once again two years later when I get another e-mail asking me if I still want the painting shown above, which incidentally was REJECTED by the thrift store where Jeff acquired it. The painting was found in an alley outside the thrift store next to the dumpster, ready for disposal. I guess even Salvation Army stores have to have standards. Neither Jeff nor I could figure out which way the painting should hang, and it was unclear if the weird cylindrical white thingy was growing out of the head (we knew it must be a head from the ear), or supporting it from below. However, after living with the piece for a few weeks, I have solved the mystery - the subject of the painting is actually a disembodied head wearing a gas mask.

 Jeff has since gone on to edit what must have been hours of tape down to a great "D.I.Y." documentary about the early days of Punk Rock, but that's a whole other story. Anyone with a spare $10,000 or so willing to finance the release of Jeff's movie is encouraged to contact me.

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