"Made In California" Show Recap


Time to read 5 min

This painting went from hiding behind the kitchen table to being displayed in a gallery.

Perry Picasshoe standing in front of self portrait

About The Show

This annual juried exhibit showcases artwork from all over the state of California.This regional show features artwork from an extensive variety of mediums and explores creative movements happening in California.


When I first began the painting back in 2022, I had no intentions of displaying the work outside of just my kitchen floor. It was created during a mentally challenging time in my life. I had just graduated UCLA, was beginning to be properly medicated, and was in the process of discovering my gender identity. Prior to being properly medicated for my bipolar, I was accustomed to super high highs and deep low lows, so when I began to become stabile I hated it. Who was I if not the mania? Could I even make art still if I wasn't going through something? Thoughts like these swirled all around me, pounding my head.

"Who was I if not the mania?"

When I was still in art school I could not wait to get out, I counted every minute leading up to graduation. Then when the day passed and I was home, I realized I didn't know what to do. I had been so used to the structure and routine that when I was left to my own I was a bit lost. All the plans I had of  starting my career suddenly felt like they were out of my grasp.

Rent was due and my job application had been denied from Target and a handful of fast-food chains. FML here's the artist trope. I was fortunate enough to get a job at a local thrift store.

Still, I was unsure what I was doing. Hell, I didn't even know if I was a boy, a girl, or neither???

Frustrated with this confusion, I turned to what I know best: painting. I put on my favorite playlist at the time at full volume  (You kill your doppelgänger) and just screamed as I frantically wrote "WHO AM I???" over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

I didn't know where it was going or what I was to do with the painting, the mean reds took over. As I kept going, I was abruptly stopped by my 4:13 pm alarm, time to go clock in. In 5 minutes I changed into my work attire and headed out to go assist customers at self checkout. 

Mean Reds

In Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn's character Holly talks about having the "mean reds". In it she explains that the  "mean reds are horrible. You’re afraid, and you sweat like hell, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don’t know what it is".  

Two Of A Kind

It wouldn't be for another couple of months that I would have the time and mental energy to continue the painting. I had settled on a photo I had taken months prior of myself with my back against a mirror, dressed In full red, in a red room. The photo perfectly captured my split mentality at the time, so I had to use it.

To add to the surreal and dissociative state I was in, I chose to eliminate the red garments I wore in the reference image. Instead I wanted to blend into the background, have the words eat me up.
From here, it would once again be months before I would touch the canvas again. I went through a dry spell where I couldn't get myself to paint or do any work. I felt stuck with the painting and had no idea where to take it.


It wasn't until a year later, almost to the day, that I finally came back to this painting.This time it was for my debut solo show "RED THOUGHTS", a tittle in reference to the mean reds. The show would be an exploration of different aspects of my identity from Queerness to Chicanx. This painting would fit right in.

Except something was a bit different. Since it had been nearly a year since I had worked on this painting, I quickly realized I was no longer  in the same headspace as I was when I had my first outburst. 

By this time I was a bit more comfortable with myself. I still didn't know who I was but I was a lot more comfortable with where I was on my journey. So it was a bit strange to jump back into this piece.

It almost felt like I was ready a diary entry from when I was in a vulnerable spot and I now had to find a way to write an ending to the entry. I took it as an opportunity to have a conversation with my past self. Rather than completely covering and altering the marks I had made, I found ways to elevate them.

I didn't feel the need to compete or knock my past self down. Instead I wanted to dance with my ghost, find a way to move in harmony. There are now multiple lives embedded in the piece, making it ever more impossible to know "who am I".

Perry Picasshoe standing in all red in front of painting

Brea Gallery

Cut to 2024, and now that my solo show has come to an end, this painting returns to the studio, placed up against the wall. It always makes me a bit upset when a work is hidden from the public like this. 

I believe art should be lived in, it is something that should be appreciated and interacted with. A part of me feels a bit selfish when I keep it to myself. What if there is someone out there who needs to see the work? This could e the thing that makes them finally feel seen and recognized. 

The work should go out and exist in the world. When I saw the open call for the Brea Gallery's "Made in California" show, I thought maybe this is where it could move to next. Though, I'd be lying if I didn't say I was hesitant to even apply, my imposter syndrome and anxiety almost made me too afraid to even try. Still, I pushed passed that and said fck it

So I applied, and to my surprise they accepted it. I was so excited and proud that I took that leap and went for it. Now this piece will be shown at the gallery for many others to enjoy and see.

I was fortunate enough to attend the opening with my family and was so happy that my abuelita was able to attend and see my work hung up in a gallery.

The show is running from April 27-June 23, 2024. For more information check out the Brea Gallery press release.

If you love the painting as well, I encourage you to add it your collection. There are prints available for purchase as well as the original. 

Should you wish to request the painting for a show, please contact me to arrange the details at Perry.Picasshoe@gmail.com

Bring One Home

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