Friday, December 02, 2011

Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant

Modern life is an ever-accelerating barrage of people, buildings, vehicles, creatures, and things. How much can a curious mind take in? And what can it do with all the data? Gregory L. Blackstock, a retired Seattle pot washer, draws order out of all the chaos with a pencil, a black marker, and some crayons.
Blackstock is autistic and an artistic savant. He creates visual lists of everything from wasps to hats to emergency vehicles to noisemakers. In the spirit of the Outsider art of Henry Darger and Howard Finster, Blackstock makes art that is stirring in its profusion and detail and inspiring in its simple beauty. He has never received formal artistic training, yet his renderings clearly and beguilingly show subtle differences and similaritiesenabling the viewer to see, for example, the distinctive features of a dolly varden, a Pacific Coast steelhead cutthroat, and fourteen other types of trout.

Each collection is lovingly captioned in Blackstock's unique hand with texts that reflect facts from his research as well as his passions and preferences. Blackstock's Collections contains over 100 extraordinary examples of his splendidly original taxonomy, offering a unique look inside the mind of a man making sense of life through art. His collected drawings include:

  • Monsters of the Deep
  • Major Forestry Pests
  • The Great Cabbage Family
  • The Spatulas
  • The World War II U.S. Bombers
  • The Buoys
  • King Sized Jails
  • Monsters of the Past
  • Classical Clowns
  • Great Italian Roosters
  • Our State Lighthouses, and
  • The Irish Joys

Click images to enlarge

1 comment:

Ken S said...

I've got this book. Super interesting & lots of fun to flip thru. Thanks for the reminder - I think I'll pull it out again and maybe 'read' it w/ my daughter (age 9). Imagine her excitement when we get to "THE GREAT CABBAGE FAMILY"