Directed by Colin Johnson
With Charles Lewis III & Megan Luis
LIGHTS UP ON:
A somewhat barren city sidewalk. An
easel stands stage right, with a large
paper print standing on it, turned
away from the audience.
An ARTIST, 30, is standing next to the
easel, dressed in blue jeans and plain
T-shirt. His eyes track an invisible
someone walking down the street. He
waves as they pass. He doesn’t get a
The ARTIST hangs a cardboard sign on
the back of the easel that reads
“LOCAL ARTIST, ORIGINAL WORK FOR
SALE”. He stands back, pleased with
himself, and waits.
A few more invisible people pass. He
politely tries to get their attention,
but to no avail. He wonders if his
sign is legible, so he backs far away
from the easel and squints.
Satisfied, he goes back to his post by
the easel. A COP, 25, enters from
stage left. The ARTIST smiles as the
COP passes him. She gives him a half
The COP stops dead in her tracks,
noticing the painting. She looks at
the ARTIST. He looks at her, bemused.
So, uh, what are you doin’ here, pal?
Just enjoyin’ the nice day, officer.
And just what the hell is this?
It’s a painting.
I know it’s a painting. Why did you paint… this?
Why do you think I painted it?
You tryin’ ta be funny?
With the painting?
Why did you paint this? Huh? You tryin’ ta get a rise
outta me or something?
I.. didn’t paint this for you. I painted it for everyone.
I don’t care who you painted it for. You need to get this
easel off the sidewalk. You’re blocking the way.
It’s really not that big.
It doesn’t matter how big it is. What if someone in a
wheelchair came down the sidewalk, huh? Your stupid
painting would be in the way.
I’d… move the painting so they could get by?
Look, it’s obvious you’re tryin’ ta sell your artwork here
on the sidewalk, and that’s against the law. I’m gonna
have to ask you to pack it up.
I’m not selling anything.
The COP walks behind the easel and
reads the cardboard sign.
The ARTIST puts his hands in the air
in a joking manner.
Ya got me! I plead guilty.
He smiles, extending his wrists.
Now take me away.
The COP walks upstage of the painting
and looks at it.
You think this is cute? Huh? You wanna get arrested, pal?
I think it’s disgusting. It’s disrespectful. You should be
ashamed of yourself for putting this trash on display!
Because it’s indecent. It’s a stereotype. It paints an
entire group of people with a broad brush!
He instinctively moves towards her,
momentarily forgetting she’s a cop,
his eyes raised in disbelief.
Are you kidding me?
The COP instinctively puts her HAND on
Do you think I’m fucking kidding around here?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m not trying to start anything, here.
Look… uh, it’s, it’s it’s really not a surface level
painting. You have to really look at it.
He turns the easel to face downstage.
It’s a portrait filled with the image
of a fat, mischievous, pants-less pig
with a police officer’s hat and shirt.
There is a subtle storm in the
background. He stands on a pile of
very small people.
I call it “Guernica II”.
The COP moves to look at the painting.
She moves her hand from her holster.
This is nothing like Guernica.
Keep looking at it. What do you see?
The COP takes a long look at the
painting. She’s motionless for a long
She moves closer to the painting.
I see… a storm. And… and a giant, standing on the
backs of the helpless. He looks sinister, but I think… I
think he’s sad…
Like Degas said, ‘Art is not what you see, but what you
make others see”. Or something like that.
She continues to stare at the painting
for a long moment. She suddenly snaps
back to reality.
Alright, enough with this sappy shit. Ya gotta move along.
You don’t have a permit, so you can’t be sellin’ stuff on
I had a permit, but it expired a few days ago. Please,
officer? Can you just let this slide? I gotta pay the
bills, ya kno-
I am the LAW. I DON’T LET THINGS SLIDE.
The COP rushes to the painting.
I’m not gonna let you sell this trash here, in MY town. My
She grabs the painting and begins to
TEAR it down the center.
NO! That’s two months of my work!
The COP rips the painting nearly in
half. The ARTIST, in a flash of
anger, rushes towards the COP. She
pulls her gun and points it at him,
seething with fear and anger.
The ARTIST immediately puts his hands
in front of his face, turning away.
NO NO NO NO NO, WAIT! JUST WA-