Friday, September 25, 2009

Presenting, as a public service, Wonder Bar Babe

Presenting, As a Public Service, the Wonder Bar Babe
Doug Moe recently had an interesting column in the Wisconsin State Journal about what might be the most notorious painting in Madison, once thought lost -- this portrait above the fireplace in the new Wonder Bar, recently restored to what he called "its unique ambiance, which included the painting." Moe didn't show the painting but referred to Raphael Kadushin's restaurant review in Isthmus and the photo that accompanied it.
Kadushin describes the painting in a passage that also references his waitress, Lana, and the Wonder Bar's original owner, mob-connected Eddie Touhy: "Above the big stone fireplace is the portrait of a busty '60s pinup, Angelina Jolie crossed with Ann-Margaret, whose eyes inevitably follow you (according to Lana, she's one of the sisters who owned the bar long after Eddie decamped)."
Since the photo accompanying Kadushin's review in the print edition was mine, I thought that as a public service I would go in and enlarge the painting itself, so readers can revel in all its original tacky kitsch -- which would definitely do Tony Soprano proud. Check out Moe's column for more about the painting, its history, and who painted it.

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