Venus is of unknown provenance. I bought her in a thrift shop on Eastern Avenue in Baltimore, next to a church that houses a little known duckpin bowling alley. I have no idea of her life before finding her in the window of the thrift store. I do know that the woman who sold her to me for something like $10 or $20, much less than the figure I had in my head, was sort of happy to get rid of her because she was tired of men stopping and watching her change the mannequin’s clothes though the store’s plate glass window.
For a lot of her life, Venus spent time in the basement and I had plans to use her as a model for bag shots, but they never really turned out right. She had Barbie-esque unreal proportions, and was never really a great model for bags. Her color was off and, in all honestly, that armless thing of hers wasn’t all that endearing. Then I read a post by @woldshoppe on Twitter and my and Venus’ world changed.
Quite simply, Wold Shoppe had painted a mannequin bust. I painted the bust that I had. It was great. Then, I turned the spray paint can on to Venus. I blogged about this here. I had plans to bring Venus out into the world.
Her outdoor debut was this past Sunday at the Downtown Holiday Market in DC. And, she was used to attract attention just outside my tent. You can see her hard at work here:
She did an admirable job for Sunday and Monday. Then on Tuesday, and with wet sidewalks and while I was multitasking (which I hate doing) she slipped. (Ok. I tripped while moving her.) And, she fell. It wasn’t pretty.
She weeps in the rain.
A fellow vendor at the Downtown Holiday Market (a market with really great fellow vendors with fantastic stuff. You should check it out if you’re in the area) suggested a hybrid with my first painted mannequin bust. The results are a bit scary. (If you’re reading this with a small child by your side, you may want to shield her eyes.)
Finally, after much hemming and hawing and thinking of storage space in the basement, the top half of Venus is presented to a fellow vendor, an artist named Quest (really), who should make art out of her.
Good bye, Venus.