Carla Naden is obsessed with unicorns. She tells me that it was these splendid creatures that brought her here from Baltimore, an area once known for its thriving unicorn population but now mainly known for crappy baseball teams and being the place where The Wire was filmed.
Naden curses like a sailor, which I like. She peppers her show flyers for her artist collaboration MulletPony (Naden, along with Kelli Bratvold) with mission statements like “because the whore is greater than the sum of her parts” and “because the word ‘cunt’ used to mean ‘goddess.’” Nice.
So, how did MulletPony start?
“The Pony was born from the belly of gouche drips, stipple insanity, Chianti from the bottle, glue-sticks, mod-podge, exacto-knifes, fluorescent-paint-pens, ink explosions, aesthetic screams in the night,” explains Naden via e-mail.
It’s at this point that I realize that the e-mail interview isn’t gonna work out (what the fuck is a gouche drip?) When I reach her by phone, she’s stuck in traffic with no air conditioning. I ask her about this week’s cover, which I thought was called, “Fortune.”“You know what, that’s not what it’s called,” says Naden. “I sent an e-mail to [the CityBeat editor] saying that the piece is called ‘I am Gonna Mount You Like a Fat Dog.’”
I have to ask Naden to repeat it several times before I get it right. It’s worth pointing out that Naden also really loves dogs and animals in general. She and I once got into an argument about neutering and spaying. It became so heated that she almost considered not selling me a painting that I fell in love with after seeing it at one of MulletPony’s many art shows around town. But she did, and now “Blow Me Up,” with its naked women, gas masks and a bleeding, upside-down American flag hangs lovingly above my bed. On the phone, she tells me that I should come with her to an animal-rights conference in L.A. My silence declines for me.
So, how bout the painting on the cover, Carla? “Fortune” or “Dogs Humping or Mounting” or whatever.
“Kelli and I just went fucking crazy on that one. It’s fucking everything we could get our hands on. Acrylic, collage, everything. We feed off one another. When I get stuck, she fills in. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, there’s a fucking painting.”
Naden also smells very good.