”This is my favorite photo in the world - me and Linus, born to a dairy cow and ordered to be killed when the farmer saw he was a male (and thus useless in the dairy industry). A compassionate individual intervened, and he was brought to a sanctuary. I met him when he was a few days old and 60 pounds, and he would always try to sit on my lap. Today, 7 years young and 1500 pounds, he still tries to sit on my lap.”
One day we were shooting “Portlandia” downtown and we went to eat in the lunchroom of this church where they were having an art show. This season’s shoot was really hard; I felt very pushed and challenged, and I was tired and disoriented a lot. I remember sitting down and seeing this painting on a canvas. It said: “If you can, please wake up.” It’s this weird, dark, intense phrase that almost sounded like something like a kid would say to his parents. And that became my mantra for the whole rest of the shoot. I spent two weeks chasing down the artist— he was the security guard at the building. I told him how much that painting meant to me and how it had really gotten me through the shoot and he said, “I would be happy to sell it to you if it means that much to you.” So about a month ago, I drove over to his house and bought the painting from him.