Coast Gallery Fine Art Consultant Christy Cones appears on Sacha Baron Cohen "Who is America"

Christy Cones Coast Gallery christy cones sacha baron cohen

Please describe the moment that you first met artist Rick Sherman [Sacha Baron Cohen in disguise]:

CC: It was like an epiphany or divine revelation. I was taken aback. Was this the artist we had all been waiting for? He had this aura, this presence, this larger than life persona that radiated across the threshold long before he ever set foot inside. The ground quaked beneath his feet, it seemed. The art on the wall shook and rattled. The door opened of its own accord, fearful to touch his dirty dripping brown hand. He tiptoed in, dressed in a gray jumpsuit and red stiletto's. He carried a large canvas bag on his shoulder. He was large and grisly, like a bear or boar accustomed to trouncing on innocent vermin in the countryside. He did not even notice me at first, but his eyes were fixed on a Todd White original oil painting hung above the couch behind me.

"How much?" he asked, pulling down his pants?

"What are you talking about," I backed away.

"For that painting?"

"15 Gs."

"Sold!" he retorted, pulling a large wad of cash from his soiled underwear. Dirty money. I asked him to set it on the floor. He grinned mischievously from behind bushy, flaming red eyebrows with a long fiery pointed goatee. The devil incarnate I thought. But I went on.

That's so crazy! Are you kidding? He bought a painting?

CC: Yeah, but what happened next was really strange. He began to dump out the contents of his bag onto the floor of the gallery. It rattled and clanged as it hit the ground. I stared in disbelief and wonder. There were rolled canvases, some apparently still wet, and images in red and brown, some with gold glazes, on white paper. Too many to make out clearly as everything became strewn across the floor. There were a few rudimentary barbwire and wood sculptures too, and other mixed-media works, including on t-shirts, and one I recall, made with a pair of dirty running socks. "This is my art," he cried, suddenly falling and kissing my ankles. "Please accept these gifts, made in the darkest depths of my bowels." I agreed that I would consider it. He thanked me, stood up, wiped away the tears and began to giggle madly. I was shocked to say the least. But I just kept going. I didn't know what else to do.

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