“You won’t catch me brushing up on Matisse or Picasso. I prefer to research art created by the mentally ill, the homeless, the insane and the forgotten. They seem to all have one thing in common-the element of surprise. And they stir up a connection that I can’t explain.
That connection is what I felt when I read about the M&M guy. Living in solitary confinement, with three life-sentences, He would be the last guy you would think to have his art reviewed in the New York Times. Yet his work seemed to resonate beyond steel walls and touch a chord in us we couldn’t ignore.
Blogs, newspapers, magazines…. everyone was talking about the guy who saved up his plastic jelly containers and melted M&Ms in them with his saliva to make paint. The bristles of his brush were made from his own hair, secured with foil and plastic wrap. And so, he painted – small postcards of colorful lines and circles. Circles that had stories to them – stories of regret. Circles of one day after the next. Circles of the chaos he longed for. Circles within circles within circles.
And somehow, those of us on the outside connected to the nonsense of it all, for we too live in a world of longings – longing for the future, longing for what once was. Meanwhile we miss out on today. Gazing at these 6×4 inch canvases, we hear his voice – sensory deprivation, diminished depth perception and a life remaining spent recalling past and questioning the future. All this is heard through M&Ms and human hair. He gives us a gift we have forgotten- he gives us today.”