Blackstock’s Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant by Gregory L. Blackstock

By Gregory L. Blackstock

Glossy lifestyles is an ever-accelerating barrage of individuals, structures, autos, creatures, and issues. How a lot can a curious brain absorb? And what can it do with the entire information? Gregory L. Blackstock, a retired Seattle pot washing machine, attracts order out of all of the chaos with a pencil, a black marker, and a few crayons.

Blackstock is autistic and a creative savant. He creates visible lists of every thing from wasps to hats to emergency automobiles to noisemakers. within the spirit of the Outsider paintings of Henry Darger and Howard Finster, Blackstock makes paintings that's stirring in its large quantity and aspect and encouraging in its uncomplicated good looks. He hasn't ever got formal inventive education, but his renderings basically and beguilingly exhibit sophisticated adjustments and similaritiesenabling the viewer to work out, for instance, the unique positive factors of a dolly varden, a Pacific Coast steelhead cutthroat, and fourteen different kinds of trout.

Each assortment is lovingly captioned in Blackstock's targeted hand with texts that mirror proof from his examine in addition to his passions and personal tastes. Blackstock's Collections comprises over a hundred striking examples of his wonderfully unique taxonomy, delivering a special glance contained in the brain of a guy making feel of existence via art.

Monsters of the Deep
significant Forestry Pests
the good Cabbage Family
The Spatulas
the area warfare II U.S. Bombers
The Buoys
King Sized Jails
Monsters of the Past
Classical Clowns
nice Italian Roosters
Our kingdom Lighthouses
The Irish Joys

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The luminosity of color in this mural echoes that of the works of sixteenth-century artist El Greco. And indeed Biggers recalled: “Lowenfeld told me that he could see what I was trying to do, and that I should plan a trip to the National Gallery in Washington to study the El Greco works there. ”39 Because Biggers’s early student murals were hung in many different settings, they cannot be judged by the standard of interaction between architectural space and the mural. Biggers did attempt to retain the integrity of the wall, avoiding such devices as linear or atmospheric perspective.

21 Author introducing John Biggers at community celebration History of the International Longshoremen’s Union Local 872 Doing this mural was a fulfillment of a childhood fantasy, a romantic experience. I think my feeling for dockworkers first came from the song “Old Man River” and from my reading of Mark Twain. And I thought labor unions were a wonderful thing. —John Biggers, interview, July 1993 Biggers was commissioned to create this work for a new building to be constructed for Local 872 of the Longshoremen’s Union.

On the far right side of the mural appears the new consolidated school building, Carver High, with the children arriving in new buses from all parts of the county. (fig. ] History of Negro Education is divided into four storytelling units that are somewhat symmetrical, but not mechanically so. The spatial divisions are similar to the YWCA mural, although the underlying geometry with its triangular configurations is more clearly visible and there is a stronger sense of order and stability. The difference between the YWCA mural and the Naples mural is not accidental: each reflects the spirit of the historical times portrayed.

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