Monday, May 26, 2014

Seeing an old work in someone's house

I was at a party on Saturday night when I was introduced to someone who I met once, maybe ten years ago. It turns out that this chap bought one of my prints on that occasion -- a fairly big linocut -- and this was the first time we had seen each other since then. He's a writer, and came back into our orbit through my writer-wife Patty. Still a hell of a coincidence, though, and a nice one.

This is a picture of the print hanging on the wall of his writing room:


It's at least 24" x 18", maybe slightly bigger, and it's based on the Ray Bradbury story "The Illustrated Man." It's a fantasy-type story that takes place in a circus, about a giant tattooed man who ultimately gets murdered (or commits a murder, I can't recall which) by one of the story-like tattoos on his body. My version has the illustrated man standing in a circus tent under a spotlight, with other freak-show members of the circus standing around him, and the love of his life turning away and covering her face in grief. For his body, I drew and carved as many of the tattoo-stories as I could fit: dragons and snakes on his chest and sides, a rocket ship on his left calf, a dinosaur on his left thigh, the devil's face on his left arm, flora everywhere, and, on his belly, an image of him strangling his girlfriend. At the time I was making this, I cut a much bigger piece (six feet high), but this was and remains the most complex linocut I ever did. Now that I see it again, I think a) it's pretty good, and b) I've been in Chicago for a long time!

Thanks to Mr. B. for making me think of this print again.

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