Thirteen-year-old Alyssa Danning came down from Media with her mom on Friday night hoping to meet “Jackass” star Bam Margera at his first art show with West Chester artist John Hannafin.
When they got to the Chester County Historical Society and found out that Margera was nursing an injury after plummeting from a waterfall in Oregon, she admittedly had mixed feelings.
“I really wanted to meet him, but I’m glad he’s okay,” she said. “Maybe he should have waited until after the show?”
Margera and Hannafin shared the spotlight on Friday night, with both of their paintings lining the walls at the Historical Society, sharing the space with photographers Ryan Gee and Red Mohawk.
Since Margera couldn’t make it, mom April Margera poured the wine, handed out the treats and apologized for her son’s absence with a smile on her face, while dad Phil Margera worked the room and posed for pictures with fans.
“He told me he was going to kayak over some waterfalls for Red Bull,” April said. “So he did, and he survived it and he was very nervous, but he wound up blowing his hernia out.”
She also couldn’t get a straight answer out of him on Friday night as to whether or not he was going to have surgery or not.
“He had all these questions for me. I said, whoa, whoa, whoa, I have a question for you: what is going on?” she said.
“It’s way better than I anticipated,” Phil said about his son’s artwork. “At first I thought it was jibber-jabber, but then I started looking … there’s secret stuff in there. Crazy stuff. If you dig deep enough, there’s lots in there.”
Margera’s eerie faces and sometimes psychedelic explorations of color and texture struck a bold juxtaposition against Hannafin’s more traditional fare, but perhaps the most surreal moment of the night came when Hannafin heard the name of the falls that Margera went over.
“I think I painted that place,” Hannafin said, raising a finger to point at a large, vertical piece of his hanging high on the walls.
Sure enough, Hannafin had visited and painted the location during a leg of his “Art Across America” tour: Multnomah Falls on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon – the tallest in the country.
“The first drop there is about 600 feet. The drop that Bam went over was 82 feet, so it could have been much worse,” Hannafin said. “How many thousands of waterfalls are there in the country and I pull that one?”
Despite his absence from the show, several hundred people turned out to check out the scene and meet the artists, with both Margera and Hannafin enjoying modest sales.
“He’s sad he’s not here, I know he is. Because he likes to talk about his art,” April said. “But I think it turned out great.”
“I had an awesome time, like Bam said we’re polar opposites and I think the contrast took people through a little artistic adventure, and that’s cool,” Hannafin said.