Can’t beet that

Gregory Blackstock,  Automobile Classics, 2011 Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Gregory Blackstock, Automobile Classics, 2011 Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Got a fav up there? Which car did you lose your virginity in the back seat of? (Or wish you did) These come to us courtesy of outsider artist Gregory Blackstock whose title for 25 1/2 years was “dishwasher.” (my title most of the time too) I can’t draw as well, but we both share a love for lists. His meticulous hand draws and colors lists with a verve that engages the white-hot desire of collecting.

Remember those childhood collections? Lined up rows of matchbox cars, funny shaped rocks or sandy shells bouncing around in my pocket. Sacred-sleeved baseball cards revealed only to best friends or that cute neighbor girl. My sister’s candy cigarette stash. Ah the devotion.

We have adult-sized shoe boxes now. Collections give us a crystalline goal. The luxury of being utterly unique. No one else has a matryoshka doll gathering like mine. Or a stack of LP’s quite as eclectic. I set loose my inner Lewis and Clark to find worthy additions, nose to the ground. When I score one, I hold a dream fulfilled right in my hot little hands. Can’t beat that.

Speaking of beets. Here’s a sweet bevy. Love their invigorating roundness. Bulbous planets of vibrating color, crowded together, yet precise-perfect. Stubby-hair heads look like gap-toothed grins. A taxonomic chart with soul– not so taxing.

I like the name of the first beet. Early Wonder. And that’s what Blackstock does for us doesn’t he? Encourages us wriggle our fingers down deep, past the adult-worried flotsam, to discover again our early wonder. And draw it out, silver shining.

Gregory Blackstock, The Beets. Garde Rail Gallery  Austin, TX

Gregory Blackstock, The Beets. Garde Rail Gallery Austin, TX

Currently on display at STAG on South Congress. Austin, TX


3 Comments on “Can’t beet that”

  1. Brent says:

    Very cool! Both of these pieces would make great editorial illustrations as well. And of course my favorite would be the VW Beetle. I have a 2006 convertible now (red, natch) but nothing beats the soothing sputter of the original’s engine.

    • heatherit says:

      We used to call those “slug bugs” due to the evil-eyed sibling punching that ensued in the backseat after spotting one on the road. Priceless, of course.

  2. SigO says:

    Today I’ll take the Jag XK-E (I guess I’m a sucker for vintage English cars), grew up as a child with the mid-seventies VW, and lost my virginity in a pedestrian 4-door sedan. booo…

    now beets, I just recently discovered I like beets, thanks Barley Swine. yea…

    art, beets, what’s next?


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