Ben Durham is another of the artists we visited at the MacDowell Colony last weekend. I've included an artist statement which makes the entry very long...and I know it's too much writing but...once you read it the work will have so much more meaning. Patience!
"Mug shots of childhood friends are the source material for the ongoing Text Portraits series. Every day I search an online data base of arrest records from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.Some of the subjects have been arrested for traffic violations or nonpayment of fines. Some have been arrested for assault, rape, or murder. Following backward into the past from the found mug shot image, my struggle to remember begins a process of storytelling that is written into the piece itself. Each drawing is composed entirely of handwritten text. The content of that text is a graphic, unedited recounting of everything I can remember or have been told about the subject."