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'That Painting' - So Awful, Yet So Great

That Painting (Artist unknown)/Image by Ginger Bruner

That Painting

EDITOR'S NOTE: Vickie's Diner has reopened at a new location, 953 E Sahara Ave Suite A-2, in The Historic Commercial Center District.

It's known as “That Painting.”

For about 10 years, it was a hanging on the wall at Vickie’s Diner on Las Vegas Boulevard.

“That Painting” was recently described in the Wall Street Journal as “Las Vegas Kitsch.”

Maybe it's kitsch, maybe it's not.  But it's beloved. We know that because when it was removed from the wall by a reality TV show that was filming at Vickie’s, there was an outcry from the regular customers.

 “That Painting” is now back up on the wall.

“Yes, after the remodeling and we’re back in business, I didn’t have time the next day to put the painting back so my customers came... a few locals customers plus customers from out of town and they asked me, ‘Where’s the painting?’” said diner owner Vickie Kelesis.   

Kelesis doesn't remember the name of the artist who gave it to her and she really didn't think much about it. 

“We never thought this painting would be a success like it is right now,” she said. 

Ginger Bruner is a regular at Vickie's Diner and loves the painting.

“I’m a huge fan of 'That Painting,'" Bruner said, "I’m one of the main fans.”

Bruner admits the painting is "not good."

“It is like Clint Eastwood or John Travolta - pick your poison - was teleported into the upper left quadrant of a terrible, terrible forest scene,” she explained. 

But, like some parts of our fair city, it is "so awful - yet so great."

If you're interested in buying "That Painting," you'll need to find something else to fit over you living room sofa, Kelesis says the painting is not for sale - for any amount. 


Vickie Kelesis, owner of Vickie's Diner on Las Vegas Boulevard; Ginger Bruner, a regular at Vickie's Diner

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Since June 2015, Fred has been a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada.