Chris McMahon was in the middle of teaching an art class when he first got the email that Weezer was interested in using his art for their album cover. He was so shocked he nearly walked right out of the room. Luckily, he was able to keep it together until the class was over. He soon found out that the band had fallen in love with a particular painting of his, a large, furry monster taking a stroll right through a mountainous landscape. They were approaching the Iowa high school teacher about getting the rights.
“I was all for that, obviously,” McMahon says with a laugh. The painting came from McMahon’s collection of what he calls “involuntary collaborations.” Basically, he combs through thrift stores and garage sales to find old landscape paintings lost to time, and then adds his own special touches, usually a monster. The result breathes whimsical second life into the paintings which have long languished in dank basements and musty attics.
McMahon turns them from dull thrift store trifles to quirky, must-have pieces.