When It Comes to Offbeat Art, These Two Guys Stick with Pasta

updated 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/10/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

It was last December, while pondering what to give family and friends for Christmas, that Brian Woodward first began using his noodle. "I always make all my Christmas presents," he says. "It's fun. Plus it's cheap."

Sometimes really cheap. Woodward, a 31-year-old Houston waiter, decided to make his gifts out of macaroni—macaronied brooches, macaronied earrings, even macaronied neckties. The presents proved so popular that he decided to go into the macaroni business. With the help of longtime pal Bob Pine, 30, an aspiring actor-comedian, Woodward formed his own company called (what else?) Two Guys Who Glue Macaroni on Things. For about $15 an hour, pasta and Elmer's glue included, the pair will work their macaroni magic on virtually anything. Want that old washing machine to get a new look? Perhaps something different in front-porch remodeling? "It was real fun discovering things we could glue it to," says Bob. "Not that there's much you can't glue it to."

In addition to making jewelry, the two have put pasta onto hats, key chains, exhaust manifolds, light-switch plates, even a carburetor. Organizers of a street festival hired them to glue up a macaronied trophy, and a local factory paid them to pastafy an air hammer. As for themselves, the pair sport macaronied neckties ("A macaroni bolo accentuates the most humdrum of clothes," notes Brian), and both of their apartments are cluttered with macaronied memorabilia, in a style that might be called spaghetti Western. (Bob's boasts a macaronied lava lamp and a newly noodled cylinder head from a '76 Dodge Colt.)

There are, of course, some things that don't lend themselves to the macaroni treatment. Naked people, for instance. "We had to draw the line at that," says Bob. "And cats."

The pasta paesanos are keeping their day jobs for now, but they have big dreams. "I'd eventually like to see a franchise operation with macaroni-gluing stores in malls all over the nation," says Bob. That vision may be helped by their exhibition at Houston's Pastiche Gallery, where their creations are now on display. "I think their work is zany and fun. Everything is a statement, and this can be elevated to a high level of kitsch," says gallery owner Sandra Joseph. Besides, "I wanted to have a little of everything."

Which is fine with the guys, who, true to their art, decided to spurn the usual wine and sandwiches at the opening-night reception. Their snack of choice? Macaroni and cheese.

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