Friday, September 15, 2006

Allen's Strange Family Portrait

A glance at my take on George Allen (see post below) reveals my willingness to have some fun at his expense. A visit to Wonkette’s Sept. 5 post, George Allen’s Family Portrait, shows another artist’s view of Virginia’s junior senator.

The artist, David Cochran, who received some of his training at Virginia Commonwealth University in the 1970s and lived in the Fan District for a few years, painted the four by six portrait of Allen and his family which purportedly hangs in the Allen home in Northern Virginia.
David Cochran's painting of the Allen family.
Well, I can’t say what Cochran’s politics were back then. Nor will I guess about it now. But I can say that I was startled when I saw the image of that bizarre painting on Wonkette’s site. I laughed immediately because I first thought it was a joke. Then, when I read that it was a painting Allen had bought I laughed even harder. Upon noticing that I once knew the painter ... I was flabbergasted. Wonkette called the image “creepy.”

That’s why it has taken me over a week to post this at SLANTblog. I just didn’t know what to say. Was Cochran deliberately trying to create the tackiest painting possible, or did it just happen? Was Cochran trying to pull off an elaborate prank, or what?

Well, I just can’t say. But, I can say this: I hope Cochran got paid plenty for it.

The only time George Allen ever asked me (one of his aides called) for any of my art -- a 1994 ’toon of mine -- he didn’t want to pay a nickel for it. Apparently, the then-sitting governor thought he was doing me a favor just to ask me to donate the original to hang on his wall, along with other depictions of him.

So, I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

And, I can say this, too: George Allen is a chump if that twisted portrait of his family is really hanging on a wall in his home, no matter what he paid for it.

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