Slaughterhouse Gallery 13

by Carter Haaland

The executioner stood, coated in grim black from hood to toe, axe in hand, angst in heart.  A flimsy construction of white tarp and PVC pipes hid his physical form from the audience, but a bright floodlight exposed his silhouette to their intrigued eyeballs, their mouths salivating at the thought of the impending murderous spectacle.  The unfinished, barren walls of Gallery 13 enhanced the ruthless aesthetic of each passing moment.  Gallery owner Stephen Sugarman snatched a large unsold painting from the wall and with each step, carried the creation toward its doom.  “Attention everyone!  Would anyone like to give this painting reprieve?  400 bucks!  Anyone want to save this piece of art?” Sugarman shouted to an unsympathetic crowd.  “Nobody?  All right, then!”  And so its fate was sealed.  The piece, with Jesus’ face radiating waves of light from the sky of the painting, was propped up between two cinder blocks.  The executioner wiped the sweat from his brow and took a big gulp of his 16-ounce PBR.  For a moment he just stared at the painting, as if saying goodbye.  But this final farewell — if that’s what it was — merely delayed the inevitable.  With a firm grip and a swift stroke, the executioner sent the axe right through the painting. And again.  And again!  And again!!! 


For the past couple of weeks local art crew Rogue Citizen decorated the walls of Gallery 13 with vibrant paintings dripping with themes of injustice attributed to the United States prison system.  Friday night, all the pieces that did not sell, met the ferocious side of their makers.  The four members of Rogue Citizen chop, chop, passed the axe around and took turns sending their creations to art heaven, or hell, or whatever.