Gregory Blackstock: Everyday Anthropology

For a 25-year dishwasher at Seattle's Washington Athletic Club, Gregory Blackstock has an amazing skill set: he speaks 12 languages, has mastered the accordion (and can play just about every instrument he picks up), can do spot-on sound effects of dentist's drills and airplanes, and chronicles the objects of everyday life with exacting detail using only a Sharpie and gray crayons. Now retired, he's devoted himself full-time to his twin passions of music and his art, which consists of visual lists of everything from emergency vans and dangerous spiders to historic raceboat equipment and the varieties of Italian roosters. While he's a classic autistic savant, Blackstock's amazingly intricate drawings, because of their craft and obsessive vision, would surely be considered art by any measure. From the website of Garde Rail Gallery:
[H]is autism did not make him become an artist, nor is he an artist because of it… Through his art and his music, Gregory has effectively been able to combat this disability and to meet the challenge with fantastic results… Gregory's drawings are often large, on several sheets of paper pieced together by Greg with tape and glue. Using pencil, crayon, ink and marker, Gregory depicts insects and baskets with incredible precision, straight lines and test executed without the aid of a straight rule. The detail is minute, shading impeccable.
More: Seattle Post-Intelligencier, "Autistic artist brings a methodic intensity to his drawings"

Seattle Weekly, "Anthropologist of the Everyday"

Princeton Architectural Press, Blackstock's Collections: Drawings of an Autistic Savant

Images: The Art Supplies, The Classical Clowns, The Roofs, The Shears, The Hats, The Vacationers' Irish Castles

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are brilliant illustrations. I think I remember hearing GB playing his accordion and riding his bike around long time ago.