The Strange, Sad, and True Story of Andy Kehoe

Andy Kehoe was the son of a sea merchant that was killed by pirates when he was just eight years old. His father barely had time to throw his son overboard before the cargo ship --that usually carried pickles and kittens to Spain-- now carried the burning corpses of his father and all his closest friends to the bottom of the ocean.
Young Andy endured three days in the ocean before washing ashore on the Galapagos Islands. There he was raised by iguanas and learned much about the world. Like how to lie in the sun to raise his body temperature and how to swim underwater for 15 minutes to get to the yummy green algae on the bottom of the sea bed. Andy even swam like an iguana… head forward, arms at the side, and legs hanging still. How he did this without a tail is still a mystery.

One day, Andy found a gloriously warm spot and lay out comfortably on his belly to soak up the sun. To Andy’s surprise, this spot ending up being on a cruise ship and his naked, sleeping body on the main deck caused an almost violent stir of shrieking women, crying children, and the anger of men not so secure with their own sexuality. Cruise security quickly came to carry the upsetting, naked boy below to the ship’s holding cell. Andy knew he had been swimming in the cold ocean all day and his body temperature was not quite high enough to fight back… so he allowed himself to be quietly carried away without the usual frenzied struggle.

Here, he was stuck in a cell with a shirtless, red-faced man that got drunk and slapped a woman in the pool. As a strong male iguana would, Andy battled this man for alpha male status and dominance of his territory by hissing, flashing his green-stained teeth, and slapping the man wildly with his arms and legs. Andy was soon shackled and hidden away from other people. Slowly, he began to learn some English. The first words he learned were, “Shut the fuck up you fucking freak!” and “You better back the fuck up!” That meant he should stop his high-pitched shrieking and stop running madly at the door when people showed up at it. The crew soon tired of Andy and secretly dumped his body overboard in the night off the coast of California.
Over the years, Andy experienced a lot in America and endured many, many beatings. Eventually, Andy Kehoe somehow found himself in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania making art for a living and the days of lying in the sun amongst his iguana friends are a faint and fading memory thanks to many years of forced therapy and brain trauma.

Days as a Horse

Andy Kehoe was born long ago, on the Isle of Man. He was born a foal and eventually grew into a wily horse. One fateful day, his whole family was killed by a human demon named NeighNeighSnortNickerWhinny, which translated from horse means, “Devil Ride Dirt Hell.” He was the only horse to escape from his family stable and he swam miles of ocean to escape the demon; eventually reaching the safe shores of Ireland. Though relatively safer, this new land brought it’s own tribulations and Andy had to join a gang of other stableless horse ruffians to survive the mean, green, Irish pastures. Kehoe specialized in three things: apple thieving, child biting, and torso caving. His wild eyes became well known from open pastures to stone alleyways and all who gazed into them steered clear, lest they desire a good biting or chest caving.

Years later , Andy was in Dublin scoring some illicit oats and then he heard it. That laugh. The laugh of the demon. He was here! Andy looked around in a panic and his wild eyes made eye contact with him. Andy’s whole horse being became blind panic, and before he realized it, he was running at top speed. He trampled a whole herd of sheep and crashed head first into a spiced mead stand, destroying everything. The mead stand was run by a gang of local toughs and they worked Andy over with body shots and black jacks until he faded into a painful oblivion. The last thing Andy heard before all turned to black was the echoing laughter of NeighNeighSnortNickerWhinny.

Andy awoke into a world of pain. He was on the floor of an old hag’s shack and she had him tied down and hooked up to some alchemical contraption. She had seen his terror and anger on the streets of Dublin that fateful day and marveled at how completely Andy had lost his mind. The witch was channeling that uncontrollable rage and rowdiness into a concentrated liquid which she would later dilute into a strong, devilish liquor. This concoction was the most potent liquid craziness she had ever extracted. It became very popular, and destruction and horrible decisions followed wherever this liquid was ingested. It eventually made its way over to Germany and is known today as Jдgermeister. So powerful and unique it was , that she completely drained Andy until he was no longer a horse. He was no longer anything. The witch didn’t have the power to make Andy a horse again, so she opted to make him a human, and the simplest version at that. A man.

The witch taught Andy how to walk on two legs then booted him out onto the streets to fend for himself. Andy shakily human galloped over to his former horse hideout but none of the horses recognized him and he couldn’t speak horse anymore. They flipped out and gang horse kicked Andy until he was yet again unconscious. That would prove to be his most common state during the next few weeks. Andy was beaten repeatedly for stealing apples and eventually thrown in jail for biting just one child. After weeks of trouble, Andy stowed away on a ship leaving the harbor. His reputation was too well known here and that reputation always seemed to lead to immediate man/horse beatings. Time for a fresh start. After weeks at sea, he ended up in his new home, America.

Andy's Dark Past

A long time ago, Andy Kehoe resided in a dark forest outside a small village in Romania, where he fed on the blood of children, goats, and the occasional lamb-stuffed potato, accompanied with a robust glass of wine. Besides raw flesh, Andy loves a good potato and a full-bodied, spicy wine. After many comfortable centuries of unfettered massacring, science and reasoning came into the world. This new found intelligence boded poorly for Andy… it did, in fact, truly fuck him over. When people realized that a blood-thirsty beast was committing these atrocities against them, and not God and/or the Devil, it prompted a swift uprising and the eventual burning of Andy’s forest. All was lost in the flames, including his precious collection of skulls, dried flowers, kitten whiskers, and his most beloved beetle farm. As he watched his forest burn, and listened to the hushed, anguished shrieks of a hundred beetle deaths, the villagers danced and celebrated in the depths of his pain, and the flames danced hot in his eyes. They danced yellow, red, white, torrid, and furious with the promise of complete and irrevocable doom to them and all their children and all their friends and lovers to come. A huge fireball lit the night as his dried flowers and kitten whiskers ignited, and the fires blazed like exploding stars in those beastly eyes; eyes that knew no mercy, remorse, or compromise. When fires turned to embers, he finally walked away from his forest home with the promise that, one cold night, he would return and those eyes would look down upon his vengeance.

At the time of Andy’s upheaval from the forest, WWI was raging all around him as Romania and Russia battled the armies of the Central Powers. For recently nomadic Andy, it was a veritable smorgasbord of corpses, uprooted civilians, and lost soldiers. This was his first taste of international cuisine, and the variety of misery and blood was intoxicating. While stalking a wounded American soldier in Austria, he also got his first taste of a fire liquid called bourbon, from a land called the United States.

This Kentucky elixir had a magical effect on Andy, and he somehow became more human and less of a man-eating beast. After drinking this bourbon, he began to use his mouth for speaking instead of ripping, tearing, and maiming. He began using his hands for writing and drawing instead of clawing and choking. After this time of communicating with humans, instead of murdering and eating them, he learned much about them and all their strange and fascinating behaviors. He immediately excelled at bar fights, drawing, cussing, lying, and the complete stripping of another man’s dignity.

At the end of WWI, he eventually made his way to America, hidden on a US transport ship disguised as the corpse of a dead war hero. After the long journey across the ocean, he escaped from the ship in the night and slowly integrated himself into American society. He now finds himself content living in Pittsburgh amongst other humans, and he spends his days quietly making paintings of the fading dreams and memories of beastly ancestors long forgotten… But his revenge on the surviving villagers and their descendants is long from forgotten, and the fire of his retribution grows hotter with each passing day.

Dreams Outside of Art

As a boy, Andy Kehoe dreamt of being a motorcycle stuntman in a John Woo-like action film. In May 1998, a friend in the biz recommended him, and he finally got his shot. He was to be motorcycle thug #3 in a low budget action movie starring some guy whitewashing an Asian role. Andy spent four months training and growing a moustache. His skills… Impeccable. His look… Perfection. 
Then came his big moment. A stunt in which Andy hits a ramp at moderate speed, jumps over exploding barrels while shooting a sub machine gun wildly in the air, then ultimately crashes harmlessly into a pile of cardboard boxes and trash. Instead of being nervous, Andy turned stupid brave with an extreme case of Fuck-It-All. This caused him to make some very poor and inexplicable decisions. 

When the director yelled for action, Andy took off and within seconds had reached a ridiculous speed of over 90 mph. To the director’s bewilderment; Andy was wearing no helmet and was firing two handguns with real ammo instead of the sub machine gun loaded with blanks which sent bullets careening everywhere. Several lights popped and exploded from the stray gunfire, and the cinematographer slumped over as a bullet hit him in the thigh. Even with no hands steering the bike, Andy managed to pop the bike into a wheelie before hitting the ramp at incredible speed. The bike took off and the barrels exploded on cue into an awesome fireball. The explosion was so hot; it burned off half of Andy’s moustache and sent him veering off course in an uncontrolled corkscrew.. He missed the landing zone by well over 300 feet and crashed into a stable of horses, shearing one completely in half. Somehow, Andy escaped with only minor injuries. After the debacle, he was labeled: "'Reckless."... "A loose cannon."... "Horse Chopper".. "A disgrace." He and his shameful half-stache never worked in showbiz again.

Random Threats Leveled at Andy on the Streey by Absolute Strangers

"I'll throw you through this fucking window!" Philadelphia, PA - Happened after a man asked me for a cigarette and I refused, leading to him coming out of nowhere, grabbing me by the shirt and throwing me against a wall right across the street from my college's orientation. The parents dropping off their children appreciated that one. 

"Next time I'll drop the H-Bomb on you!" Philadelphia, PA - There was never a first time and I'm glad I never found out what the H-Bomb was.

"This is real!" A 2-parter in San Francisco, CA - My friend Heidi and I were nursing huge hangovers, and this is yelled at us by a man as he takes off his shirt to show that he is not only a man, but a ripped and possibly steroided man. He throws all his belongings on the sidewalk, charges us, and yells-
"You're part of the reason I'm castrated!" as he punches a parking meter in front of me. I didn't know he was castrated, and certainly took no part in it. Must be confusing me with someone else. I ended up treated him like a wild animal. I stood my ground, got as large as I could, waved my arms in the air and said calmly but assertively, "No! Go on now! Git! Go on!" He slowly backed away and we hid in a coffee shop.

"Don't you look at me!! Don't you fucking look at me!" Portland, OR. Screamed by a man looking straight at me as I walked past him. Then he proceeded to walk right into the middle of Belmont St and yelled that at every car passing by. I didn't take it personally. 

Andy Kehoe Art



All Images ©Andy Kehoe


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