(GQ) “Lucky for us, then, that John C. Reilly also collects clown paintings.
He knows it’s strange, but he thought he might become one, once—his church group trained kids in the art, sent them out to nursing homes and mall openings. And while he traded in clowning for drama class, he retained a love for the art. “It sounds absurd to say,” he admitted, “but I really am a clown. A lot of actors are. Tragicomic. We’re there as a kind of vessel for you to feel something.”
And after his wife gave him an amateur painting of a clown for a birthday in the ’90s, something clicked. “I’m sure she rues the day she gave me that,” he said. He started haunting vintage shops. He’s since moved on to eBay, and now he’s got more than a hundred.“
Owning over 100 clown paintings actually rules out loud. My first reaction was pure horror, because clowns are terrifying. Is it their fault? Maybe not, because they get a ton of bad press. Their main goal is to entertain children, so they’ve already started out on the wrong foot. Add about a million TV shows, movies, etc. that make them all seem like murderous psychopaths, and they really don’t look like the good guys. Now add real life murderous psychopath John Wayne Gacy, who used to moonlight as a clown, to their PR roll and things look really bad. Let’s also not forget that weird period in 2016 where everyone kept seeing clowns everywhere.
That was a weird time. Point is, I understand John C. Reilly trying to rehab their image. Clowns have an essentially thankless job. All they want to do is entertain people but they get called “creepy” and “smelly” and sometimes “meaty”. Their professions very title is an insult to someone’s intelligence used day-to-day in our cultural lexicon.