Here’s a work from 2005 – about 5 feet by 6 feet, chalk & charcoal on raw canvas. And yes, it’s titled “Bar Fight!”
I know it’s a bit rough looking and it’s supposed to be. It was more crisp when I drew it closer to the actual event and over the years it has lost much of the powder of the charcoal and chalk, and you can see the grid appearing in the drawing from folding and storing it. It is folded up and stuffed in a box in my attic right now – for me, it replicates the process of memory and story.
What is the story? In short, a group of friends and I were jumped by a table of young, dumb thugs at a bar on St. Patty’s day in 2005. Two of our party were playing instruments at the time. It happened very fast and everyone reacted differently and sort of became isolated in our situations. My drawing is an impression of the mayhem – and a portrait of the dumbass who picked a fight with me.
I showed it at an open studio event and got reactions from my group that night. Couple of my male friends from that night were very concerned about if they were portrayed in this, and how they were portrayed. Especially one friend who fell down at some point and was very offended that he may have been rendered above as crawling along the floor. He was kinda a jerk anyways who tended to get into a lot of fights with strangers. I think he was so sensitive about it he was ready to pick a fight with me as he questioned me about it.
This was the only brawl I’ve ever been involved in – in part, I like to think, because I’m not a egotistical dumbass like those thugs and some of my friends at that time. Live by the sword, die by the sword – but wielding a charcoal stick is much more powerful.