Clowns scare the hell out of me. I see a clown and I want to do one of two things: run and hide; or run and get a baseball bat and beat it. I just don’t like clowns.
So, a conversation that my wife began with two guys in Walmart the other day sort of left me unnerved. But, hey, what the heck, right?
Inside the Alameda Walmart, in the self-checkout right next to us, was this guy buying a lot of artificial flowers. Lots. Chantilly asked him what they were for, as one of them was huge, and he told her he was a clown and attending an event this Friday. Little did I know that I would finally find a clown I wouldn’t want to run from.
So, who is this clown? It’s Fish the Clown.
“I’m a visual artist, performance artists, makeup artists, just overall artist based here in El Paso, Texas,” says Fish.
Calling himself a visual artist and performance artist – when he is Fish the Clown – is not the words or description I would use. He’s something different, something otherworldly.
We’ll get to that soon. First, more about Fish. How does one become a clown, or at least how did Fish the Clown come about?
“I think it was a happy accident because they asked me to be a part of a show and I wasn’t even that into clowns. They asked me to be a part of a show and I was like, okay,” says Fish. It was then he asked if he could come as a clown. It was that moment that Fish the Clown was born.
The name is an odd one: Fish the Clown. You know I had to ask how that came about.
“I’m really into the aquatic life and serial killers and drag queens and they all have fish in them… That’s your homework. I won’t tell you how, but they all have fish in them. So, I was like, I know, I like fish. I’m a pescatarian myself, I only eat fish,” says the cannibalistic Fish the Clown (get it? Alright, I’ll stop with he stupid jokes). “I thought it was kind of an appropriate name and I actually thought it was clever…but if you turn it backwards, it’s clownfish, which is famous little orange fish.”
When we ran into Fish the Clown, he was getting ready for an event.
“I’ve been doing a lot of art shows. It all started in the, like the dregs scene,” says Fish the Clown. “So, I do a lot of drag shows. But now it’s kinda more leaned into art shows and I sell art that I make. I sell merchandise off of Fish the Clown.”
Before being Fish the Clown, he started off selling his original art: sculptures, paintings and other works. Looking at what he had on offer this past Friday night, he creates some stunning work. He also makes an amazing clown.
He’s also becoming a very recognizable figure in El Paso. When I looked him up on Facebook, I couldn’t believe the number of people who have posted photos of him, or the number of posts where people were just happy to finally meet him or see him.
That event he was attending is called La Parada. Let me tell you about it and then we’ll get back to Fish the Clown.
La Parada is, and this is only my view, a chill, laid back space where everyone can be themselves and let it all go. There is music, art, food, people – it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen or attended. I even ran into McKinley Cougar, selling his art to fund his game.
La Parada is a monthly event that happens on the first Friday starting at 9 pm and runs until 2 am. It’s worth checking out. In fact, I’ll be speaking with the organizers of La Parada soon. So, watch out for that interview.
Fish the Clown fits in at an event like La Parada. Fish, as others have called him, is truly a walking canvas. But he’s more than that. Fish the Clown is also an inspiration to everyone – he’s out there living his dream, one glitter bomb at a time.
Speaking with him, I was taken by how humble he is, how focused he is on the other person in the conversation, wanting to make sure you are all right, that you are comfortable. Even though he was in the middle of getting ready for the night’s events, and running behind, he still took time out of everything just to talk with us.
At the event, he would take the same level of care he showed us and give that to everyone who came up to talk with him, look at his art, or take a photo of him. He’s truly someone special.
I asked Fish the Clown, as I do almost everyone I interview, what the one thing would be that he dreams of doing, the one thing he would want to be remembered for.
“Maybe a TV show. I think a TV show. Something that if we do a TV show you could see it. Anybody could see it from anywhere in the world,” said Fish the Clown. “I wouldn’t want to limit my art to just El Paso. I want everyone to enjoy it. I want everyone to love it, hate, have their own opinion.”
If you ever get the chance, go out there and meet Fish the Clown. When you see him doing his thing, don’t be afraid to do your thing.
Check out Fish the Clown on Instagram.