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“Dandy Banana”

    The other day I had to stop at a Goodwill before heading to work, a new store location to me. Upon entry I overheard a passing woman say, “I might go back for that art.” I made a mental note to check out the art section before I left, but curiously walked each aisle for this and that. The art was on the last row before checkout and as I flipped through the large works, I somewhat fancied a juicy high-gloss impasto painting of dark-red tree peonies, but the wiring oriented the painting perpendicularly to it’s most attractive view in my opinion. Yes, I’m capable of rewiring a frame, but I decided it was too large and not worth the $19.99 if I was going to have to work to make it aesthetic, and not to mention, physically fit somewhere to display.

    A few more frames and what a start! My eyes popped and breath had stopped. “What a delicious print!” I thought. No signature or edition in sight, but as a screenprint fan I could hardly pass up $14.99. I knew it wasn’t Warhol since familiar with his work, but it reminded me of the same pop-culture irreverent tack. The checkout woman twisted her face, then said, “Oh, it’s a banana,” as I turned the price toward her and placed it on the counter. “It’s a good example of pop art,” I said. She turned it round more than once then said, “uh oh” and I said “what?” “I need to see an XV,” she said. Now it was my turn perplexed. A second passed before I processed she was looking for the grease pencil they now use, so I searched and searched. “There it is,” I delivered, so glad I wouldn’t be denied. Barely visible on the tattered corner of frame paper, but just enough showing that fate was set. I paid for it and the shirt, then straight to Google image search.

    “Dandy Banana” a Ron English work. I texted my friend my pic and the result, then acknowledged I’d have to remove it from the frame to see if it was signed and editioned. The day passed to evening and when I got home, I used my keys to bend the framer’s points along the bottom and halfway down the sides. Right there in the driveway. Just enough to see the dislodged print that had slid down to the base of the frame. It was signed and marked as 10/100. I texted my friend with an exclamation point, then delved into research about the artist I could hardly believe I hadn’t learned about in Art History. Maybe I did and Covid ate that memory too, but I’m thrilled to have this print and add another artist to my list of pop artists that make me smile. Saturate and tasty like Murakami, Pope, and Warhol.

    "Dandy Banana" by pop artist Ron English. Found at a Goodwill in Oregon.