When we set up a sign shop in Coney Island in 2004, I thought I would be there for a summer, and be washed off the beach like the rest of the trash after Labor Day. Instead, I got the sand in my shoes and stuck around, and Coney stuck its sticky salty dagger into my heart. Its lodged there still: A-half melted-salt-encrusted-Jolly-Rancher-007-knife in my heart.
Everybody thats not nobody loves Coney, but only a carny loves Coney enough to extend the vacation into a vocation. setting up a sign shop on surf ave was more honest than the BASKET TOSS but more work, so I concentrated my efforts mostly on selling tshirts that featured a stretch limo and the words “Ass Gas Or Cash NO ONE RIDES FOR FREE”. It took a while to learn how to patter at people and sell them shirts, but I sold them all, even the one I wore and got mustard on and swapped out for a crisp one.
And by the end of that enterprise, i had also acquired the skill set necessary to make paintings, so in the offseason of 2005, I stopped paying rent in the sign shop and started really really painting. I was officially a carny and a deadbeat, perfect combination for a painter and soon, a father.
You wont believe what happens next…
Thats the art, now to make it really coney, heres the commerce, courtesy of Got That Gary!
Photos by Matthew Kuborn