The Pen and the Brush
While we are on the subject of art here is an original painting he bought at the Big House. By Big House I mean the grounds is covered by a 20 feet high wall with barbed wire at the top. The Federal Pen.
It was purchased in our BK era. We heard that the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, just up the street from Grant Park had a art festival every fall. The art canvases for sale were done by inmates. The art show and sale was not within the walls but just down the street, still on the Pen’s property I think.
How does the above painting strike you? To me it looks like someone trying to get away rather quickly and he is running down a dark alley or corridor.
The art was for sale at a darn right reasonable price and I think the proceeds went to help out with the inmates somehow or another.
We went two years in a row and ended up with at least three paintings. One above, which my son now has, a ship in earlier times when they used sails in rough seas, and the other one I am not sure what it is… it looks like some kind of dream a Persian cat might have had. I looked for those also, I have no idea what happened to them.
The inmates created some fantastic art paintings. Some were highly unusual. My theory is that the inmates are not your common everyday yuppie you see in the latest style and joking about their golf games. Individually the average person marches to his own drummer. He might even have a disturbed mind…. All the better to put out startling art, dearie.
Lets face it, any art created in the Big House was probably done by a rule breaker. I don’t know but I would guess that there are rules in art to followed, the same as rules in writing, grammar, and so on. These guys will probably dare to break the rules and produce some strange unnerving art.
I think I just rather stay on this side of the wall and color by numbers.
That reminds me, when I first got out of the Navy my first job was with The Atlanta News Agency. I was a route salesman. I traveled over a certain area in southeast Atlanta and visited various convenience stores and drug stores and see what magazines and books were selling and what wasn’t selling. I would pick up the ones not selling and give them credit, and if the next store down the street was out sold out of what I just picked up I would leave it with them…. There were more to it than that…. But that is essentially what I did.
At times the Atlanta News Agency would give each of a huge number of publications that were not selling good. They would say get rid of them. And don’t pick them up for credit until after inventory was taken.
Once I was given something like 1500 coloring books to get rid of. They were very child like coloring books that most children would have felt superior to. So, how was I going to get rid of 1500 useless coloring books.
The Atlanta Federal Penitentiary was on my route. I wrote up one ticket, carried to the dock, had the guy that was in charge of the loading dock to sign for it and he turned around and had some prisoners unload it, and I was on my way, laughing all the way out the gate.
And guess what? The coloring books were never returned for credit.