ARTIST BIO: In 1996 at the age of 29 I was reading an outdated book written in the early 1970s by a writer named John Fetterman called Stinking Creek that documented the then exceedingly impoverished and culturally isolated people of Appalachia, those beautiful, mysterious, but freaky inbred families, most of whom were descendents of heros from the American Revolutionary War who opted to take land after the fighting with the British ended rather than pay. While reading a chapter on religious snakehandling I was struck by what I can only describe as a vision, and I knew I had to at once draw what I had seen. I scavanged a handful of colored pencils from the junk drawer in the kitchen and went down into the basement so my wife (now X) wouldn't laugh when she saw what I was up to. In the corner of the basement as I drew all time disappeared, and I produced my first picture, "The Snakingest Man Alive." In the middle of the picture stands a man wearing purple coveralls and upon his face is a look of profound amazement. In his right hand he holds a squirming rattlesnake, and big silver stars circle above his head. The sky is a bright, burning orange, and upon the ground rests, inexplicably, a wedge of cool watermelon. A tree branch extends over the sence, thus providing the man with a little shade and peacefulness.
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