vasco de graceland.

Once, a handsome man with light blue eyes and a mischievous grin was at his local Goodwill. It was his day off. He was not looking for anything specific. Though he could use a new belt and maybe some work shoes, mostly he was just checking out what was new this week to see if anything caught his fancy.

His fancy was caught by a conquistador in a golden helmet. From across the room, he saw the painting and his interest was piqued. But when he got closer, he discovered - alas!- that the piece was a velvet painting. Now, painting on velvet is a very old and established technique. Marco Polo brought the idea and the fabric over to Europe, and there are velvet paintings in the Vatican. However, this particular medium has been tainted. In the 1970s, there were assembly lines in Mexico producing velvet paintings of Elvis and John Wayne and wolves, where they then went to live in people's basements with orange shag carpets and chrome lamps. Because of this, any velvet painting ever, even the ones in the Vatican, are tinged with the funk of kitsch.
The young man, disappointed, was just about to put down the painting, which he liked but which was, through the association of countless velvet Elvises, incurably tacky. Then he remembered something.

His fiancee has always wanted a velvet painting.

Since he has committed himself to marrying this woman, to tying his life to hers for the duration, it is possible, even likely, that he may someday find himself tied to a velvet painting. And if that's going to be the case, it might as well be one that he himself also likes, rather than one of the thousands of other velvet paintings which are tacky for being themselves, rather than this one, which was only tacky by association.

He flipped the painting over to see the price, scribbled in black Sharpie on the back of the frame: $8. So he bought the velvet conquistador. And later that afternoon, he made his fiancee very, very happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that I found your blog post on the velvet conquistador. I was in meditation and got the message to explore velvet paintings. Soon after I found your post. Thank you for the picture of the Spanish Conquistador. He had the right look. When I saw that no one had left a comment, I wanted to let you know that that which you took the time to write in 2012, came in handy in 2015. Even if only to let someone (me) know they were not alone in their meditation on this tacky topic.