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WEEPING BIGHORN SHEEP
20”x20” acrylic on canvas
Weeping Bighorn Sheep was the debut work of ABlegGiftShop’s critically and socially loathed 2021 series “Weeping Fauna of Alberta’s Biomes”. The series was made before scientific consensus consolidated Alberta into the single biome of “shithole hellscape”.
The decision was made after a string of increasingly disastrous and comically villainous governmental policies that began with “Blow up the mountains and poison the watersheds” and ended with winter 2023’s hail mary attempt to delay the election “Bill 666: Turn the sun black like sackcloth made of goat hair, turn the moon blood red”.
The bold colours and brushstrokes imply, rather than depict, a weeping mountain goat. From a contemporary lens, this would be in reference to modern Alberta’s total absence of all living things. Of course, this excludes Steve Allan, skinless and gaunt, forever searching for evidence of a foreign funded smear campaign against Alberta oil in an endless state of living death. However, the painting was created in the final years of bighorn sheep roaming free and sexy in the Rocky Mountains. Is Weeping Bighorn Sheep a work of lucid prophecy, or unhinged speculation? Evidence points to the latter, given the province’s tendency to build budget, policy, and legislation on silty and obviously unstable platforms of wishful, fantastical, and ridiculous speculation.
Unfortunately, we will never be able to ask ABLegGiftShop. One of the unfortunate victims of the War Room’s publicity stunt of adding selenium to the water at the waterpark to demonstrate its safety, his skeleton was found in the moldering ruins of West Edmonton Mall in 2027.
He died almost immediately after taking a salty mouthful of tainted water on the Skyscreamer. He shit and pissed himself to death in the bronze whale statue clutching an ornamental kris from Millenium and this very painting. His skeleton was affixed with the telltale lumbar marrow nozzle at the base of the spine. The bone marrow tax was levied on all Albertans making under $100k/year in late 2021 in lieu of introducing a sales tax. Of course, due to the high price of extraction and shrinking global markets for human bone marrow, it was sold at below cost, plunging Alberta deeper into deficit.
When the painting was submitted to the National Art Gallery of Canada as a work of profound western cultural relevance the gallery responded with “Ew no”.