CMYK Chris Drew Portrait by Shellie Lewis, CMYK Process acrylic inks, spray paint, permanent marker, glitter, sequins and Unryu paper on canvas, 24” x 36” [Art Patch Project related]
Chris Drew loved Process inks and silkscreen. He loved that he could take his photography skills and combine them with a varied, painterly hand-made physical media. I want to believe that he would have liked the multi-media memorial portrait I made of him. If I’m objective, I have probably made it it much too happy, too cartoony and portrayed him as rather chubby in a knee jerk response to seeing him slowly waste away and die from cancer. People die from all sorts of wide spread diseases but cancer has the strongest hold on our popular sympathy for having the most intense visual impact, the worst before-and-after pictures.
I grouped the painting with the political section of my blog since Chris died while still under indictment for the arrest as an activist seeking reformation of Chicago’s peddler’s laws and had been subsequently charged with a major felony regarding the Illinois eavesdropping statute for audio recording his own arrest. The last judge to deal with the eavesdropping case ruled the arrest was not Constitutional and kicked it up to a higher court. Chris was optimistic about seeing the case resolved, the eavesdropping law overturned and his name cleared.
I wonder what the etiquette is for Facebook when your friend dies. I guess you can’t just remove a dead friend from your list of friends; that seems amoral -the digital equivalent of flushing a dead pet goldfish down the toilet and calling it a funeral. There certainly are not going to be any future status updates. Meanwhile, to preserve Chris Drew’s art, I am just going to post them here. He liked t-shirts because he loved combining both the functional and the accessible in his art. He was a street artist that embraced being out on the streets.