Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant

Blackstock's Collections: The Drawings of an Artistic Savant

Gregory L. Blackstock

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 1568985797

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.

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
The Irish Joys

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frivolous compulsive outpourings. They are the language of the savant, in some cases the sole communication with the rest of us. They are also, in all cases, the “work” of the savant, the activity that is what they do and what they are good at. It is their world intersecting with ours. Like most people, savants value their work, and we are its beneficiaries as well. By training the talent and reinforcing the ability that surfaces so conspicuously and marvelously in savants, the skills can be used

underestimate the importance of a supportive and caring network that values not just the skills and the mind of the savant, but seeks to better understand and enrich the experience and world of the savant as well. Savants are geniuses who live among us; they hint at genius that might lie within us. Artistic savants have brightened our world with their skills—their drawings, their music, their sculptures. They have taught us something else, as well—that great gifts and talent can coexist with

propeller sound effects and a finger whirling in front of his nose as if he were an airplane about to descend. In the middle of the evening Blackstock got out his Petosa accordion and sat down on the case as if he were playing for change on any Seattle sidewalk. His forearms noticeably developed from years of hauling and playing, he started hammering out “Stars and Stripes Forever,” surrounded by a panoramic view of his unique drawings and a full house of happy and admiring well-wishers. It was

the highlight of an unforgettable evening. Opening night was especially poignant for Blackstock’s cousin, Dorothy Frisch. She had seen the value in the artwork he had been creating for so many years, both as a potential source of income for him in his retirement and as a means of his connecting with others. She sent 17 samples of his drawings to me and my partner, Marcus Piña, in 2003. We were intrigued immediately by Blackstock’s story and his art and made plans to meet him. The focus of our

Oriental Temples 104 The Roofs 106 The Tents 107 The Barns 108 The U.S. President Memorials 110 The Historic American Homes 111 Our State Lighthouses 112 The World Landmark Towers 113 The Vacationers’ Irish Castles 114 Our State’s King-Size Jails 115 The Historic Intercontinental Homes 116 The Great Greek Temples 118 The Historic Roman Temples 119 THE THINGS TO WEAR The Hats 120 The Shoes 122 20 of Our North American Men’s Major League Baseball Uniforms 124 The Masks 125 THE LAST BUT NOT LEAST

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