Amazing Artist’s Studio–Rent Free!


Artist capturing war being documented.

The Civil War’s being fought stage right, but the lens is on the artist and how perfectly the life of an artist is captured here. Note the look of intense sympathy, horrified interest and serious intent. Maybe he posed for the camera and sketching battles was just this man’s boring day job, but today I won’t be cynical. I believe his eyes. He’s there to document humanity. I hope he gets closer. I hope that when Matthew Brady, the photographer of the Civil War brings his cameras right next to a dead young man with bloated belly and shirt pulled from his trousers alerting the viewer to the fact that the boy had just enough time to see where he’d been shot, that this artist, got past the smells and the maggots and saw the boy.

I hope as a writer that I get past the big picture, the seemingly endless gallery of black and white documents that tell us how we’re supposed to feel about the rich, the Egyptians, the poor and the gay. I hope that when a gay character walks in to book two I’m able to get at the depth and struggles and humor of him without the world’s photos obscuring the man. I hope Thankful Crenshaw doesn’t put in a cardboard performance after reading feminist magazines of the day.

I’m going to hang this photograph up to remind me of how lucky I am to be part of a long tradition of writers and artists–most of whom are now forgotten, who were given a deep and abiding love, a true gift in itself, for this world and the flawed people who break out of black and white and bleed into grey.

Life is dark and bleak and lovely and rich, and I imagine that this gaunt looking artist with fantastic boots captured it all.

6 responses to “Amazing Artist’s Studio–Rent Free!”

      • Haha. WordPress is fun! My husband and I went to an art/iron works exhibit recently. It amazed me how quickly a trend takes hold even amongst creative types. I think only three people didn’t have big dark eyeglasses. The “best” art was a piece of particle board with foam insulation slathered on top. Deep. lol.

        studying art at school was very eye opening. Some people were amazing (but not cool) others sucked but came up with great bull shit talk about their work and the teachers just ate it up (I was one of the bull shitters who just wanted to see how far I could take it). My art was really bad and I got good grades ridiculous.


      • Haha, awesome. The current trend is to take what is ugly and label it beautiful and take what is beautiful and call it ugly. And then to describe everything in the most complex manner possible, in order to make it impossible for any to decipher the message. In this way, the ‘artist’ has learned to exalt himself above society and at the same time avoid their scrutiny, for he has invented a language that only he can speak.


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