Sunday, 21 October 2007
Monday, 8 October 2007
This is a portrait of Joe George a former student of mine in Canterbury College and one of the best and brightest to have ever studied there. He graduated in 2005 and now lives in Japan where he is pursuing his unique vision of whatever it is going to be his future.
One day he thought he could play at being a bandit as well as an intellectual.
He lost and all his friends lamented the absurd circumstances of his demise.
He was found shot dead like a sick dog and never even made the morning edition of the papers in his old home town of Cali, Colombia.
He was a very good poet, also quite mad by all standards; full of joy at times and deeply depressed at others.
In 1967 he was awarded a national prize and hailed as a bright new playwright by the Fidel Castro regime. But when he decided to speak freely and changed his tune, and criticized the government, they threw him in jail where he spent seven years accused of being a counter-revolutionary parasite. He was taken from jail and put aboard a boat bound for Miami in the 1979 before the exodus of Mariel. There he went a bit crazy while searching for his piece of the American Dream.
He died in 1994 in San Francisco.
He has been patiently honing his skills as a contemporary anthropological commentator through the use of engraving and prints. This bright modern painter came all the way from the Distrito Federal, Mexico City, in the mid-seventies to study in the US.
He lives in San Francisco where he graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of California, Berkeley.
He is now assistant director at the Fine Art Department in Stanford University, Palo Alto.
Arturo Arias is originally from Guatemala.
He has been living in California for many years where he teaches Latin American literature at San Francisco State University. He is a recipient of Casa de Las Americas Prize, one of the most well-respected and prestigious literary awards in the Spanish speaking world.
One bright midday he showed up at my pad, up on Potrero Hill, and lovingly embracing my copy of the Oxford English dictionary went into a semi-trance before I photographed him in 1992.
Carlos Loarca is a Guatemalan painter greatly influenced by modern contemporary schools of art, but with a rich vein of indigenous mythological versions of the universe from his part of the world.
Last time I checked he was living in San Francisco.