John Lace, Artist

About the Artist

Accidentally discarded in a bag of clothing set out for the Salvation Army, I escaped and was welcomed by a roving band of chickens and goats as one of their own. The going was tough to begin with, my six month old pipes were unaccustomed to greeting dawn, however, my lips eagerly greeted the teat of my new goat mother whose sweet milk empowered me to fend off the constant pecking of the hens. Within a few days I had befriended a rooster who enjoyed picking nits from the folds of my baby fat. He was strong and taught me the ways of eating grasshoppers with no hands while grooming my nascent throat to welcome the first rays of sun.
After being shed of my nappies by a hungry goat a week or two into my new life, I found the freedom of nudity which I enjoy to this day. I long for those days of roaming the great plains with that feral band of livestock, smashing my head into gravel I thought were kernels of corn with the chickens and eating tin cans with the goats. After three years of pecking and eating garbage, I was, along with my family of chickens and goats, “adopted” by a wandering milliner who had fallen upon hard times and had a seriously sunburned nose. He taught me the hazards of the sun and sequestered me in a ramshackle chicken coop where I was bound to a discarded roll of chicken wire and commanded to knit woolen hats. Imprisoned in this hell, my only diversion was to watch my brethren framed by a broken board in the wall as they suffered the summers mid-day sun. This image has been burned into my mind and I have tried to capture it in a series of paintings called Barnyard Couture.
In future paintings I hope to wax laconic about my life after being rescued from the milliner by a pack of raving drunk gypsies with a penchant for playing Flamenco music on mouth harps and banjos. That series will be called Between Vomit and Castanets: Surviving The Lunatic Fringe. But that’s another story.


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