A FRIEND GAVE ME A BOOK – a graphic novel

In 2004 I was in preparation for a performance work in which I would use trapeze for a climactic moment as a dramatic effect. In a training session I slipped out of an ankle drop, and fell upside-down landing on the back of my neck, fracturing 2 vertebrae. This near catastrophe resulted in an eventual healing.

I eventually healed from the accident (both physically and emotionally).  In 2011 I created a solo performance work The Escape Artist, based on this experience. The work included an extensive monologue, and 6 original (5 co-written with Carol Lipnik), which traced the events leading up to the trapeze accident, through the ordeal of an overnight stint in a hospital emergency ward, and to the eventual discharge 15 hours later.

I staged this performance simply—once the moment of the accident occurred, I lay motionless on a table for an hour, speaking the monologue and singing the songs. Behind and slightly above me were hung 3 large video screens, on which was projected extensive video imagery that visually buttressed the story, and also displayed a fantasy world populated by the world of the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio.

In 2014 I began work on A Friend Gave Me a Book, a graphic novel that incorporates graphically rendered texts from the performance work (monologue and song lyrics), and hand-drawn imagery culled from the video component (hospital imagery and the world of Caravaggio).  These 10” x 10” mixed-media drawings on paper and linen-covered wood panels (graphite, oil pastel, gouache, colored pencil, wood-burning, sequins, acrylic paint, and oil paint) are configured in pairs (including 2 triptychs).  I anticipate 170 panels.

Completed during the summer of 2018.  I plan to publish this work as a book, produce an edition of prints, and exhibit the original artwork.

A FRIEND GAVE ME A BOOK – graphic novel – 170 10″ x 10″ mixed media drawings on paper, linen, & wood



SKULL double



IN 1610 double copy