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Page from “Paintings for Cash"  (Drawing © “Penelope”)

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Esopus 8 (Spring 2007)
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Paintings for Cash

By “Penelope”

“Every once in a while, I’ll attend openings ‘in character’ as Penelope. In some ways, I view these (I’ve only been to three in the past 10 years) as a kind of performance art. My only job is to come up with answers to questions like ‘What inspired this painting?’ I worry that people will be disappointed if I’m too frank about my process, so I always end up talking in technical terms about the work. (Luckily, most people really don’t expect a fruit-and-flowers painting to be deep emotionally).”—“Penelope”

“Penelope” makes décor art. She thinks of her highly coveted paintings, shown in galleries around the country, as “puzzles.” But the biggest puzzle turns out to be figuring out why she does the work—and what it really means to her.

“Penelope” is a pseudonym for an artist who has exhibited widely throughout the U.S. She lives and works in Atlanta, GA.