Pet Peeves


Art Star Hack

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

It was meant to be a joyous night for the Art Star Awards this past April 3. Unfortunately, residents held invitations from the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts. These invitations were voided when the Laguna Beach Alliance for the Arts changed the name to Laguna Beach Arts Alliance. Laguna’s Greeter turned Laguna Bouncer for the night said repeatedly, “Sorry. Invite no good. Wrong name. Not welcomed. Bye. Bye.”

All was not lost. Enterprising local hackers dummied up tickets with the new name on it. Scalpers took advantage of the confusion and made a quick buck. “When opportunity knocks, I answer the con,” said one hacker-scalper, who also changed an award winner to his own name, Louie Shorti, instead of rightful recipient, Louie Longi. “Shorti-cuts beat the longi way around.” The rightful, but denied winner, Longi didn’t find the humor in the mix up. “I’ve designed and sculpted the Art Awards since its inception. They’re called Louies. They go to the best artists of the year, not to Shorti’s paint by numbers friends.

Shorti’s friends thought differently about it. “Ah, they’re sore losers. It’s about time some of us way up in the canyon get some recognition.” A lost artists colony, intentionally lost is now being found out. As one lost artist explained. “We always wanted our privacy. We’ve been creating art since the days of ‘The Don’t Tell.’ ” Confused, I asked, “ ‘The Don’t Tell’? ” I thought it was called “The Tell.” The lost artist answered, “In the late ‘80s, there were two artist groups. Those artists, who wanted to sell their works to the public. They sold pieces through galleries, at the Festival and during Art Walks. But the second group, the Lost Artists, picked a different path.” I said, “Do tell.” Then he made me swear on a palette that I would never tell the secret of the Lost Artists. So I put my hand on the palette to swear an oath and said, “Is this oil or water based paint and does it come off?” He grinned. “Do you want to know the secret of the Lost Artists or not?” I took a breath. “Sure. Let me have it.”

And he did. The Lost Artists decided years ago that they didn’t want to struggle. History showed them that art becomes much more valuable after their lifetimes. So they hacked the social security network and faked their own deaths. The Lost Artists continue painting but enjoy a bounty that they would never have attained while living. I huffed, “That’s forgery.” “No it’s not. It’s our own work. We’re just righting a pet peeve. Surely, you of all people can understand that.”

And I do. Artists deserve more. So I won’t reveal to readers who these Lost Artists are or where the lost colony is either. There’s probably some great principle I can evoke, but I can’t think of it right now. I’m not telling because I want this lost artist to tell me how to get this ugly purple paint I swore on off my hand.

Congratulations to all the real Art Star winners. You make Laguna Beach special.


Crantz tells the Indy he’s washed his hands of the whole conspiracy. The Indy verifies there’s not a speck of purple truth to be found. We shook on it.

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