Bill, from a Certain Perspective

Posted by Gregory Johnson on

Every now and then I look through my drawings in my computer file just to try to get a grasp of what the hell I'm doing. I happened upon the above example and I felt compelled to ask that very question. I've been doing this kind of thing since my late twenties, and am still somewhat taken aback when I look at them with fresh eyes. This is a fairly recent drawing, just a couple of months old, yet it's just as weird as anything I've done. I'm 67 now, and yet the need to express the unusual is just as urgent as it ever was. Would YOU put this over your living room couch? If so, I'd love to talk to you.

Much of my work is about the unusual. What I've learned about the human experience is that literally EVERYONE is weird in some way. And when I say "weird", I mean there lurks in everyone a tendency toward breaking away from what is considered "normal". I challenge you to define that word, by the way, that doesn't include "acceptable" or "behavior" or "right". Even the most "sane", straight-laced, buttoned down person you've ever met has some kind of quirk or other that pops out briefly in certain situations. And who knows what's going on inside that straight-laced head. We've all got our secrets, don't we? And THAT'S OKAY.

The above work is entitled, "Bill, from a Certain Perspective". It's about an experience I had in the seventies at a party, meeting someone whom I instantly despised, and yet for an instant, I saw him as nothing more than a complex intersection of light and vibrating molecules. I knew immediately that he couldn't be anything other than what he was, and I experienced a deep empathy. I saw myself, really. I have spent the remainder of my life trying to express this through art, which is all I can do. Or sometimes poetry...

Bill, from a Certain Perspective

Somewhere in the middle is Bill, from a certain perspective.


The colors that are allowed to show themselves
envelope him like a painted-on aura.

But for a faint moment I see him
From a different perspective.

This is not the same guy all football
and lite beer backward hat, awkward gaze.

His head is no longer puffy and pink
but resembles a jigsaw puzzle still in the box.

His shoulders melt a thousand colors
his eyes are replaced by fractal accidents.

Just for a faint moment I see Bill
not a vacant male, certain of nothing but

A conglomeration of intersections
enjoined and immaculate, holy with being.

He glances in my direction and says whassup
the faint moment gone, surrendered to Law.

I say if only you knew
and he smiles knowingly.