Painting with a Twist?

This is the first open storefront to be declared Art. This store, Painting with a Twist, is in the suburbs of St. Louis in Creve Coeur. It’s a place where you can come, BYOB, and paint a picture of a painting along with a group of friends. Yes, you paint paintings of paintings.

I almost feel bad about this statement; it’s a little cruel. I honestly don’t hate these stores. I mean it’s certainly a little weird, and kinda accidentally meta, but it’s harmless. However, another part of me feels that if you open a store where you only activity is to paint pictures of paintings, you’re asking for an artist statement to be involuntarily applied to you.

 

Painting with a Twist?
This interactive installation, taking the form of a strip mall storefront, forces participants to evaluate the very definitions of artistic expression, while also sardonically subverting the experience of sweatshop labor.

A wry comment on mass production and authenticity, “Painting with a Twist” invites groups of partygoers to recreate an original piece of art that has been placed on display. Participants are told to make a painting of the painting, blindly refabricating the original artist’s visual interpretation. This act forces the re-painter to question what constitutes original work, and indeed what constitutes creativity itself.

Some might argue that the great masters of renaissance art apprenticed by repainting previously created works. However, “Painting with a Twist” is more evocative of the mass produced, paint-by-numbers soullessness of a third-world factory churning out duplicate “hand painted” pieces for the Ikeas of the world. A sweatshop distorted through the lens of a post-Sex in the City-era cocktail party.

Participants leave the store with their own piece that is described as “original”, a word which by that point in the evening has hopefully lost some of its meaning.