A few weeks ago I was asked If I'd be interested in displaying a few of my images in a show for black history month. The show was to be held at the local library and would include myself and three other artist. In all honesty, I really didn't want to do the show, but after hearing it was for the kids I decided to go along and would go on to enter 3 mix media pieces from a older body of work. After seeing the work of the other artist I knew that mine was completely different then everything there; but it would definitely be interesting to hear what the people thought of such a chaotic form of expression!
This past Tuesday was the opening of the show and as expected not the largest of turn outs. Since I was early to arrive, I decided to get a little reading done before it started. As I sat there I heard a little girl no older then 9 say to her little friend "It's Him...Demetrious is here". It was funny that both little girls recognized me from my photo in the paper and were going in to see my work! As they walked in both of their responses were "OOOOOOooooo.....Oooooooooo....OOOoo!" Which when I thought about it, is more then I've gotten from some adults. I then helped the girls color pictures and talked to them both about what they wanted to become (one a fashion designer, the other a singer and song writer) before the rest of the people arrived. They both were two of the highlights of my night!
Most people who showed up had nice things to say, mostly about the other artist. A few were nice even though I had some mention that they had no idea what the pieces mean! It wasn't until Mr. Haislip showed up, that I heard what I needed to hear that night. Bryan Haislip is a older gentlemen in his mid 80's, who I first met while doing a group show together at the Blount Bridgers House. He mentioned that he had came to the show in hopes of seeing more of my photography, yet was quit pleased to see that I had such a wide range of artistic talent.
He told me that the pieces I'm showing were the works of an artist who'd been thru a very dark time; and how the images seem to express the plea of trying reach out to someone or something! ( He was DEAD ON!) We then went on to talk about film and alternative processing as usual. Just before he left he looks at me says "Stick with it Demetrious, your work is great and you'll soon make it where your going; you simply must understand that your audience hasn't been born yet"! As he walked away I smiled, wondering to myself if what he'd said was a good thing, and also how his statement was one of the best compliments I'd ever gotten!
If Mr. Haislip statement is true, I can only hope that I live long enough to see my audience being born into existence! But if I'm lucky the two little girls responding to my work with a simple OOOooooooo... is proof that my audience is alive and growing!!
Here are a few images from that series:
Truth Serum: Works by Me