Incognito: Buy a Painting Without Knowing the Artist

Make for SMMoA and find out how fast can you find the next big artist (without seeing the name on the canvas first).

Many a painter has taken brush to canvas -- shoe canvas -- over the years. 

It isn't all that strange to see a pair of sneaks done up in bold strokes, and to see an art-big price tag to match. And while you don't need to locate a pair of running shoes painted by a famous artist to attend the Santa Monica Museum of Art's 11th annual Incognito, we do recommend that you find shoes you can move quickly in.

Very quickly.

Why? Incognito is just about the only gallery event where you'll see art lovers darting, dashing, and moving far more quickly than museum guards typically allow. Because Incognito is about finding a painting you connect with, staking your claim before anybody else can, and all without knowing who painted the painting you're purchasing.

Oh, there's the twist: None of the 700+ colorful, abstract, portrait-interesting, and offbeat canvases on display reveal, on the front or on the wall nearby, the artist's name. Which means you could plunk down your cash and find you've bought a fantastic emerging artist or, just perhaps, a big-name painter who has shown in some of the planet's best-known museums.

So where's the artist's signature? On the back of the painting.

Call it an artistic gamble where everyone wins, though whether the winning is more about finding an artist you love or discovering you now are a collector of a major-leaguer is up to your definition.

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All the paintings are 10 x 10 inches and they're all priced at $375 plus tax.

Tickets are on sale now for the Saturday, May 2 happening, where not everyone will be in running shoes. It's a rather stylish affair, but count on some eager art lovers going the rubber sole route, for sure.

Nabbing the perfect painting, either because you simply love it or you're just sure an artist you'd love to collect, but could never dream of collecting, painted it, is part of the lively spirit of the night. 

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