Merchandising Empire

Inside the Court Painter Merchandising Empire

This Inglewood art celebrity is at the centre of a sprawling business.

Court Painter’s Grande Opening of his Inglewood studio store demonstrates he has expanded beyond traditional souvenir fare such as buttons, bumper stickers, tote bags and T-shirts to offer a line of products that capitalize on the “Ego is My Ammo” meme. Nicotine scented Prayer candles. Action Painting figures,Hookahs, Temporary tattoos,Erotic Colouring books, Leggings, Ashtrays, Cigarette holders, Cigarette Papers,Boxes of Multi Coloured Matches,Pipes,Candy cigarettes, Medical Marijuana and Liquorice cigars are just a few of the products offered.

Court Painter isn’t just a progressive art icon, he’s a merchandising industry unto himself.

The celebrity portraitist is at the centre of a sprawling business built around his appeal to senior art hobbyists , adolescents and dotards across the Great Dominion— a reminder of the unabashed devotion he inspires and the deep shadow he casts in his hipster neighbourhood.

“Court Painter is an increasingly popular brand that people want to associate with,” said Press Attache and marketing manager A Hardon MacKay. “He’s the Apple of the Arts.”

It’s impossible to know the true size of the Court Painter merchandising-industrial complex. The bulk of it exists beyond his control on sites like online marketplace Etsy. And his studio, which hosts its own online store, declined to disclose the exact amount of money it raises from merchandise sales.

But it’s safe to say no other artist has anything like it.

Court Painter’s studio store has expanded beyond traditional artsy fare such as buttons, bumper stickers, tote bags and T-shirts to offer a line of  smoking related paraphernalia and erotica that capitalize on the “EGO is My AMMO” meme spawned by Court Painter as the result of an opium dream.

Several items are sold out at the moment — among them $9.99 temporary tattoos. According to the marketing campaign, the tattoos were inspired by attendees to Court Painter’s favourite watering hole  with permanent ink bearing the Court Painter quote. Court Painter gave his blessing for the temporary tat, which uses his handwriting to spell out the quote “EGO is my Ammo”in dark prussian blue ink.

Celebrity political mafia like families fly in from New York just to shop and stock up on medical marijuana and Court Painter action figures.

Press Attache A Hardon MacKay sold 20,000 of the T-shirts alone — and, at $24.99 a pop, that comes out to almost a half-million dollars. He is already sold out of temporary tattoos,cigarette holders and pink hats with white “EGO is my AMMO,” stitching, also priced at $24.99 and marketed specifically for Valentines and Mother’s Day.

A Hardon MacKay wouldn’t disclose the specific amount of tattoos and hats produced but said that together, it was a “couple thousand.”

The widest range of Court Painter-smoking inspired swag, however, is sold by private vendors outside junior and senior high schools. A quick Web search for “EGO is my Ammo” yields roughly 5,400 results on Etsy and 33,000 on Amazon, with items for sale including cigarette holders,ashtrays,candy cigarettes,erotic colouring books,prayer candles , bracelets, painting smocks,tams,turtle neck sweaters coffee mugs, laptop decals, signs, hookahs,portraits, cross-stitch patterns, phone cases, pipes,cigarette papers,coasters,felt marker sets,medical marijuana and wine glasses, among other unmentionable items.

“People really seem to love it,” Press Attache Hardon said in an email. “We feel that Court Painter is a champion of smoking causes, as well as standing up for the ‘little art guy,’ so we thought that a prayer candle honouring him was a worthy endeavour and would also help to give him more exposure with evangelical fans.”

“I do follow him, I support him, and I own an original  digital Court Painter image I downloaded off the internet ,” an unidentified dancing model said. “Truthfully, I hope to see him on the $5 bill sometime.”

As much as anything else, the thriving business surrounding Court Painter is a sign of the heightened engagement and commitment by his fans — some of whom tote Court Painter action figures and related cross-stitches or hand-painted portraits of the master himself.

Court Painter in an unusual public statement muttered, “Embracing an artistic meme like “EGO is my AMMO” helps build my brand on both a local and national level, in addition to serving as a studio revenue source.”

“My creative merchandise-based branding — like cigarette lighters,temporary tattoos,leggings and pink hats — also offers a way to appeal to potential smokers and art patrons with a softer, tongue-in-cheek touch, ” Court Painter wheezed.

Most of Court Painter’s art competition especially CC (name available upon request) scoff at Court Painter’s  merchandising appeal, chalking it up to what they view as a cult of personality surrounding him.

“Perhaps Court Painter should focus less on selling silly slogans and more on delivering results in the studio— otherwise, it would make more sense for him to sell ‘inaction figures,’” said smart-ass local gossip A Girl Named Robin.

Court Painter in a defensive burst insists that even when there’s not a direct financial benefit, the message of faith and free enterprise sent by a myriad of products can be extremely powerful for his ego. “Anytime you see people going through an effort to show their support by waving at me on the street or at Timmies,” he said, “I’m proud as punch to be making a difference to their inner lives and stuff like that!”

Radical Naturalist

If anyone can do justice to a self portrait of a severed head dangling from a scalp lock in the artist’s grasp, that someone is celebrity portraitist Court Painter. Born in the 20th century, Court Painter continues to rock the art world of the Great Dominion with paintings seeped in “radical naturalism” with a dramatic and often very dark twist. The dark and dramatic tone matches his own nature, as he is known to celebrate completion of a work by spending the next month or more getting drunk and stumbling around Electric Avenue with a sword to pick fights. He is no stranger to the crowbar hotel and even had the mayor lobby for him to Marshall the Stampede parade. He continues to operate under very mysterious circumstances and the mystery remains intriguing to this day. A revealing analysis recently undertaken of a strand of his rare wispy hair found on the floor of the Ship & Anchor pub had a high lead content — lead poisoning, resulting from the lead in his paints and Chinese toy collection, which might explain his deranged and outspoken attitude to public art and animus towards his main competitor CC (name available upon request).

Fairies, troll, goblins and other magical beings dance, prance and crouch around Court Painter’s studio. He has  plenty of time to concentrate on the obsessive minuscule detail for which his works are known, being that he was locked up as an art professor for many years. The lockup came to an end because he believed the Dean of Fine Arts was the devil,so they kicked him out as a Professor Emeritus . At the time Court Painter believed he was under the control of the WildRose party and confined himself to his Inglewood studio where he created his greatest works there, including his noted political and celebrity subjects. He spends almost every waking moment incarcerated in his Inglewood studio guided and guarded by his Press Attache A Hardon MacKay.

Campbell soup cans and Marilyn Monroe may be the first things that come to mind when folks think of Andy Warhol, but not Court Painter. Although similarly attacked by some art critics for seemingly embracing commercialism, his approach led to a major change in the local art world that he habitually inhabits as well as receiving very minor philanthropic support for his entrepreneurial spirit as an artist and amateur pugilist.

Whereas many artists are shunned during their lifetime, Court Painter continues to enjoy the respect and even adulation of the political and celebrity class and the art supplies framing business’. Make no mistake, he is far more than an artist: working as a craft beer maker, music listener and TV sports watcher among his other interest in sodbuster erotica.

He’s also well recognized for his pithy 2017 quote on fame and modern culture, observing that, “In the past, everyone will be prologue for 15 minutes.”

Despite the bold textures, sombre colours and eye-popping vivacity of his post-colonial digital collage works, the Court Painter smouldering image that most often comes to mind is the dangling cigarette butt perched at a rakish angle from his parched & cracked lower lip. Slightly tipsy, frustrated and wracked by poor sales he allegedly cut off his nose to spite his face, wrapped it in a copy of Canadian Art and gave it to his appreciative Press Attache A Hardon MacKay. Court Painter contends he lost it in a drunken sword fight with a girl at the Ship & Anchor. As we can see this artist’s life and work is both defined and hampered by his wild stories and wild friends that research shows with certainty is a result of lead poisoning from his gnawing on paint brushes and obsessive playing with his collection of lead based Chinese toys.

However as most artists , Court Painter just suffers from showing mean resentment of other artist’s fame or sales advantages and socially is covetous, green-eyed, invidious, jaundiced, jealous, resentful, begrudging, grudging; avaricious, grasping, greedy, rapacious; distrustful, suspicious; malicious, petty, and on occasion spiteful. He is also known for eating his heart out, being green with envy and downright jealous especially of his main competitor CC (name available upon request).

His envy for musicians and artists  who hang out in trailer parks is legendary!

Despite all of this turmoil, Court Painter continues to whistle while he churns out an impressive array of 2,100 pieces of digital art a month , producing some of his “best work in the last two weeks and expecting the same in a fortnight!”

This article was read, approved and paid for by Court Painter Enterprises 

Pompousness of Younger Self

Court Painter reflects on ‘pompousness’ of younger self with new home made video

‘Right up to the time I stopped drinking, everything I said was absolute blather,’ says painting virtuoso

still photo from video

Painting celebrity Court Painter laughs during a Monday press conference for his home made documentary video Court Painter & Being The Cat’s Ass, which had its world premiere at his Inglewood studio Sunday night. Court Painter has lived a life of extreme highs and devastating lows, so it’s understandable that he might find the new documentary Court Painter & Being The Cat’s Ass difficult to watch.

When asked Monday about whether any of the video footage of his younger self embarrassed him, the portrait painting legend was blunt.

still photo from video

“The whole thing. Are you kidding? The whole thing…right up to the time I stopped drinking, everything I said [was] absolute blather,” he told interviewer Mr. Glick at his studio press conference Monday morning, after the doc’s Sunday evening world premiere in Inglewood.

archival photo of CP & admirer

“There’s a certain amount of pompousness that I see when I interviewed myself,” noted the virtuoso of masterworks depicting political and celebrity subjects too numerous to mention although he took a good 10 minutes listing off the most famous.He also treated the gathered throng to an impromptu piano & song treat with Press Attache A Hardon MacKay followed by a recitation of the video voice over script in his tremulous voice.

still photo from video

Video voice over script:

                                                                      I consider myself fastidious, an unbelievable, a beaux, a lion or a dandy even: whichever label I claim for myself, one and all stem from the same origin, all share the same characteristic of opposition and revolt; all are representatives of what is best in artistic pride, of that need, which is too rare in the hipster generation, to combat and destroy triviality. That is the source, in this Court Painter, of that haughty, patrician attitude, aggressive even in its coldness. Court Painter has appeared in this period of transition when Big Data has not yet become all-powerful, and when my aristocratic bearing is only partially weakened and discredited. In the confusion of such times, a certain man, a disenchanted and leisured ‘outsider’, but yet richly endowed with native energy, may conceive the idea of establishing a new kind of aristocracy in the studio, all the more difficult to break down because established on the most precious, the most indestructible faculties, on the divine gifts that neither work nor money can give. My Court Painter style is the last flicker of heroism in this decadent ages of The Trumpster; and the sort of dandy discovered by the traveler in Inglewood in no sense invalidates this idea; for there is no valid reason why we should not believe that the artists we call striving are not the remnants of great civilizations of the past. I am like a setting sun; like the declining star, to be magnificent, without heat and full of melancholy. But alas! the rising tide of monetization in the arts, which spreads everywhere and reduces everything to the same level, is daily carrying away this last champion of human pride, and submerging, in the waters of oblivion, the last traces of these remarkable myrmidons. I truly embrace Being the Cat’s Ass! 

archival photos of CP Being the Cat’s Ass

“Maybe it’s true for all of us when we’re young: there’s a level of arrogance there that ‘I know it all.’ Only as I get older do I realize that I know nothing at all, whatsoever.” He then proceeded to hand out reproductions of his many many works on paper and more expensive canvases that deal extensively with the subject of Nothingness and its gateway into the Void.

archival photo of CP staring into the Void

Still, Court Painter gave himself as videographer complete licence to fully explore his life story and approached himself with the idea of what would become his first documentary as a director.He gave a shout out to the underrated and staunchly obscure video maker Nelson Auteur (www.nelsonauteur.com) as his main influence and mentor.

Nelson Auteur (covered by copyright)

“I was somewhat concerned that there may be an impression because of me being me that I would whitewash something and would take out the erotic parts,” said Court Painter in a hushed but audible tone.

still photo from video

“None of that happened because of the trust that I have in myself and the fact that I gave myself the responsibility and didn’t second guess myself as a desirable erotic body.”

still photos from video

The revealing video portrait — told through voiceover from Court Painter himself, as well as interview excerpts from his Press Attache A Hardon MacKay— doesn’t flinch about some of the painter’s darkest moments: a traumatic relationship with his nemesis Calgary painter CC (name available upon request) , decades-long substance abuse battle, tumultuous love life and chronic poor sales.

archival photo of CP and (name provided upon request)

However, again and again, “My Art saved me,”  Court Painter says loudly in the video, which taps into a wealth of archival photos, videos, audio interviews, painting sessions and even his own childhood drawings and paintings to tell the story of how an Iowa son of corn farmers became a generation-defining portrait painter icon.

archival photo of CP with admirer

“This wasn’t a period of time when people whipped out a phone and said ‘Let me have a picture taken with you,'”he noted, saying he felt lucky with many archival finds, from home video footage of Court Painter’s numerous studio raves and orgies that came from his artistic nemesis CC (name available upon request) who just happened to have kept all of them.

archival photos of studio raves   /   additional orgy photos available by request only                                         

Also the gems of a rare audio interview of Court Painter talking of his time visiting the Gopher Museum and clutching a precious award were unearthed.

“Things like that, those are real treasures,” Court Painter & Being a Cat’s Ass gushed.