Baby Dick Virgin

“Baby Dick Virgin.” 5/1/24. acrylic paint. 16×20″.

In the past, the smaller text in my paintings tended to be raw journals, scrawled onto the canvas in the moment. For this, my first painting in five years, I sort of typed out the story of the piece as I was going and, then, transcribed it to the canvas a little later. For that reason, the smaller text featured in the painting, essentially, is my artist’s statement for the piece. It says:

I left my girlfriend again but this time we didn’t get back together because there was some baby dick virgin waiting to pounce the second she was vulnerable and she says she likes that he looks at her like a puppy dog and even though she says she’ll never love him as much as she loves me AND THAT I’M HER SOULMATE, that because I don’t believe in soulmates and because he’s “ordinary,” maybe that would be safer for her. That’s all obviously FINE AND FUCKING DANDY except for the part that’s DRIVING ME UP THE GOD DAMN WALLS trying to decide if I miss her because I’m in love with her or if I’m just a lonely little codependent fuck who can’t stand the idea of being alive while there’s not a beautiful girl who is ACTIVELY in love with me.

It’s been two weeks since I wrote [the [preceding paragraph]. I wanna write about how I’ve FUCKED HER since then, how she took pictures of it, how her fat uncle of a boyfriend saw the pictures, forgave her, and then I FUCKED HER AGAIN (and then some). But that’s just pettiness and spite and me feeling like I got a win that I need to advertise. I’m not trying to get back together with her. I would very much like to destroy their relationship. Not just as a fuck you. I do still genuinely care about her and she’s not going to get better while she’s hiding from her issues in that joke of a rebound. She knows now that she can literally do anything and he will never drop her because he’s too pathetic and broken to ever think he could do any better. I’m VERY tempted to name this painting after him.

I ultimately did. After committing it to the canvas in giant letters, I wrote:

Choosing this title is the pettiest thing I’ve done in my work. But it’s SUCH a ridiculous choice that I couldn’t help it that the thought made me smile as much as it did. (And I argued with myself and consulted with friends but kept coming back to it, so I clearly needed to EXPEL THE VENOM so/before I could move on). I know it’s shitty, toxic masculinity and probably only highlights my own lack of self-esteem that I enjoyed winning a DICK MEASURING CONTEST as much as I did but – you know what? I never did shit to that dweeb and HE called ME from her phone to SCREAM at me for no fucking reason, at a time when I was already fragile as fuck. So fuck him – he gets what he gets and he can live with the world knowing that [redacted] he wasn’t MEASURING UP (in any way).

I promise this will be my last painting for a minute that’s secretly about HOW GREAT my own dick is. Though I’m sure it’s the first of many more that’s ACTUALLY about how fucking insecure I am, in spite of everything. BUT I’M GETTING BETTER (I swear). Today is day 23 [since I got clean again].

This next, final part is definitely less of a journal and more a defense. I anticipated some strong reactions as soon as I put the painting up on my social media and I guess I wanted to kind of preempt some of the criticism.

I’m pretty embarrassed by the sentiment of this painting but that feeling often indicates when I’m onto something that’s significant for me and/or will somehow be meaningful to other people. It also makes me feel like a little bit of a BULLY but it’s not as if I have some huge platform these days. The dink at hand might never even learn this painting exists. I feel a little guilty – even having her approval – that the previews I posted online already caused some discord in her family and anxiety for her but… I can’t control or really even concern myself with other people’s reactions. So long as I’m being honest and my work is authentic (even when partially powered by spite), I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

The painting went online and, sure enough, even with my hedging, I still got some negative responses – even stronger than what I’d feared. One person told me they no longer wanted a painting of mine that they owned and asked for an address that they could ship it back to!  And I’m sure there were plenty more who chose the “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” path. But I also got some really great, positive responses beyond what I even hoped. People who saw past the pettiness and the ego and really seemed to understand, relate to, appreciate, and admire what I’d made. As an artist (especially a snarky little shit-eater of an artist) what more can I ask for?

“Baby Dick Virgin” has already been sold, but limited edition 11×14″ signed, hand-numbered prints are available for purchase.

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