My friend Bob looked despondent after work last night, so I offered him a ride home. Little did I know that he would briefly invite me into his home for an opportunity to snap photos of some of his and his cousin’s artwork. Bob agreed to share his artwork with all you folks, on the internet, through me, despite not having an internet connection himself. Maybe Washington isn’t the only place that needs more oversight, but hey, its a rare treat.
In this first photo, I am standing in front of part of a mural on Starr Lane, in Jamaica Plain. The other night I was up late, tinkering on my computer, when a paranoid sensation washed over me. Bending low into a crouching position, I crept towards my bedroom in the front of my garden apartment, training my eyes out the window to see if someone or something was lingering in the backyard. As I approached the window, a tiny yelp of surprise escaped my throat. A neighbor’s white cat was peering in to my basement abode… !
“This mural was the first ever completed by the Jamaica Plain Youth Mural Program. It is at the corner of Starr Lane and Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. It was designed as a tool to teach the students to paint depth, shading, and contrast.” I had my picture taken with the cat, while I directed Bob to be photographed from a more dramatic angle.
This first piece of art grabbed me as soon as I walked into Bob’s apartment. Its a painting of a black skull over a yellow canvas, done by Bob’s cousin Isaac White…
Isaac White is also the artist behind the drawing Bob hangs next to his bed. Its a sleeping beauty, female, whose placement comforts Bob when its time to hit the pillow for his own sleep. The title of this drawing is, “Candy Colored Clown,” which comes from the lyrics of “In Dreams,” by Roy Orbison… “A candy-colored clown they call the sandman/ Tiptoes to my room every night/ Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper/ Go to sleep. everything is all right.”
As for his own artwork, Bob’s favorite style is collage. I was telling him that I used to do cut and paste collages myself, but once I found the internet, it all went digital. Here is Bob with a draft of a collage that he plans to turn into a new medium (painting or drawing) soon…
Here are four really neat pictures by Bob White. He had a lot of drawings of angels, but only one came out well (no. 3). The first and last are my favorites… the dog faced motorcycle rider, and the abstract, slightly suggestive, “Monument of Impotence.” The third drawing is Bob experimenting with ink pens.
I want to thank Bob White again for allowing me to share some of his art with the public. Bob is a wicked smart and satirical punk rocker, and a loyal friend. It makes me feel good to have a website as a forum to do this kind of sharing, and I hope it cheers him up that hundreds of people get to be exposed to some of what he does. I must admit, I was also motivated to do this because when I told Bob he needed to write down his funny stories, he told me that once he wrote an entire novel of his life, but that he threw it out when he finished because it was “no good,” and he realized he had to “change the whole fucking thing from 1st to 3rd person.”
I was outraged! Bob White has some fantastic stories to tell, and the level of detail he reaches in his storytelling really has the power to completely engross me. In the future, I hope to use my blog as a means to recover some of his stories from the garbage, where they do not belong, in order to put them up on the internet, where they have never been. That is where they belong. In the last picture today, Bob is holding a picture of a woman he says is his muse. Here is the artist at his most melancholy, holding not just a cut-out from a magazine, but a piece of his own heart. Thank you Bob for sharing.
As a footnote, I’ll mention that Bob has the best tee-shirts of anybody I’ve met in life. The day we took these pictures, his tee-shirt seems to sum up the McCain campaigns most compelling line of argument… “United My Ass.”