This? Oh this is nothing. It was just art that brought me spontaneously to tears when I first saw them. Casey Baugh is an art savant and has been operating at the solo-show galary level since he was in his early twenties. (Which is enough to make me fairly and completely angry at my DNA lottery insufficiency… but that is a different blog post for another day.)
And while my own world has lately been tossed into various levels of psychic chaos I find that I am a happier person knowing that art like this exists. That there is someone on planet earth with the chops to manipulate charcoal in ways that drive such passion and feeling as to cause someone else to come to tears is a very good thing. That there is a level of sanity and emotional purity in the world gives me a happiness that is completely inexplicable to me… and yet still true.
Do you know what I mean?
I’ve chatted with several people about these portraits and it would seem that 50% adore them and the other 50% find them haunting and disturbing. Which may be it’s own Rorschach test? What do you see here? Maleficence? Passion? Soul Crushing Evil? Beauty? Which could be the definition of good art. It splits and divides. Polarizes and drives people to the extremes of the possible. Or maybe that’s me just tossing my own definition of good art on there to suit my own needs. Who knows. All I know is that I adore these sketches. They really remind me of Mark Demsteader and his marvelous pieces that he so graciously talked with me about a year or so ago.
Anyway. Art. Which makes life right again… for me anyway. If you are super interested and curious about how Casey pulled these particular paintings off, you can watch this primer here. I just purchased this charcoal system myself. If just to fool myself into thinking that I’m capable of such self-delusional grandiosity.