Greeting Flannery Oconnor At The Back Door Of My Mind
Mixed Media - Mixed Media Digital Painting
This artwork is a true collage incorporating painting, literature, found objects, architecture, photography, and new media elements created while in the process of completing my book: “Greeting Flannery O’Connor at the Back Door of My Mind” (ISBN 1-716-68481-1). O’Connor is a classic world author with whom I happen to share the hometown of Savannah, Georgia (USA). The book is about the impact of her currently-controversial literary legacy on different cultural institutions and individual creative sensibilities. In addition to O’Connor, it also examines the influence of authors James Alan McPherson and John Berendt (author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) on my hometown and on my life.
THE VISUAL ASPECT: As you can see, the image sitting off-right center is the actual front cover of the book itself. The background for this cover is a detail from a larger 2020 work titled “Landscape for Poets Addicted to Love & Justice.” The soft palette of pastel yellows contrasting with earth-tones and different shades of emerald green, cyan blue, and midnight blue are meant to reflect colors associated with a famous symbol used in O’Connor’s writings: the peacock.
The gleaming black bricks surrounding the book cover could have something to do with the back door referenced in the title. It is intended to encourage reflections on 2020 movements to correct long-standing practices of social injustice. Surrounding the bricks, we see something which in this context I like to think of as representative of “Big History” (per the term coined by historian David Christian). For me that means the story of humanity as it unfolds within the larger story of our larger universe. But I totally accept interpretations like that of a friend who views the larger frame seen here as representative of hope and promise (and who also pointed out a variation on it in another art piece).
THE LITERARY ASPECT: For the sake of brevity, I will only say here that the quote near the top of the artwork is from a poem titled “History and Prophets’ Prerogatives.” A poster combining the poem with the full complete image of the “Landscape for Poets Addicted to Love & Justice” artwork described above was presented to a literary arts organization but at this time has not been published.
Harlem Renaissance Centennial
Dreams of the Immortal City Savannah
August 24th, 2020
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