UFOs, Tentacles, and WalMart: Monsters in Thrift Store Paintings

UFOs by Jake Solomon.

If you’re a hip cat like me (*adjusts beret*), you may already be familiar with a new trend: artists buying scruffy old paintings from second-hand shops and tricking them out with monsters—for instance, a cowhand wrangling a calf ends up with a creepy tentacled whats-it in his lasso. But if you’re not, head over to Interzone this month and check out some examples for yourself.

Inspired by the fad, local artist Diana Ryan and friends spent an evening bringing their wildest monster dreams into reality, thanks to a collection of art that cost between 50 cents and $15 at thrift shops. They used acrylic paint to insert mythical oddities into their respective artworks, and ended up with a giant octopus occupying a placid lake, UFOs descending on a peaceful town and setting objects alight with their lasers, and the greatest monster of all, Walmart, creeping its way into an otherwise peaceful pastoral scene.

“I would highly recommend this project to anyone—kids and adults alike,” said Ryan, who teaches art classes at the Arts Center.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your acrylics and swing by a local thrift store to get your creative juices flowing. Thomas Kinkade will never know what hit him.

by Mica Habarad