From about 1980-1990 there were several portfolio pieces I worked and reworked, as I was 1. anxious to show my best possible stuff to the fantastical and somewhat imaginary audience of art directors, all of whom were hypercritical geniuses, and 2. put it off as long as I could. Among the pieces, which also include a cartoon slapstick version of Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun (don't ask) and illustrations for Voltaire's Candide, was a thing I called the Pinhead Ballet.
It began as most tthings do- a random little sketch, on a page of the same.
I recognized the sketch's potential and imagined it as one in a series, probably the last one. It was even titled "the Tragic Outcome" or something.. The trouble was none of the other sketches were as nasty as the first.
That one went through all kinds of stylistic permutations. Finally, in about 1990 I tried it as a painting,
A really ugly painting, like you'd find in an elderly relative's scary basement; painted by unknown hands and it hasn't aged well either. When it was finished I put a 2-step varnish on that would give it a fake cracquelleur (fun stuff), put it in a frame and hung it on the wall. Then Caitlin Mcgurk took it off the wall, out of the frame and put it in a case in Columbus, Ohio.