Thursday, October 8, 2009
The Last Free Man
Bill Davies was a friend of mine. He passed away from liver cancer a few years ago. This was not only sad but ironic because Bill smoked like a fiend but didn't drink, so as Bill would say 'don't go planning'. Bill was what would of been thought of as a hobo in another era. Incredibly intelligent, he chose an alternative lifestyle that really went against the social grain of what is expected from the average citizen. He was greatly loved by people who didn't share his life views or simplicity, myself included. Bill loved the sun, the beach, recreational drugs and his freedom. He was very generous with his time in an era where no one has any time. I painted Bill for many years and when he died I wanted people to continue knowing him so I decided to work on a 'Bill' jacket. I kept searching for some socially relevant thread to attach his story to. Ultimately I think I came up with a few and they're all in the form of questions. Is living the life you want worth hacking decades off your lifespan, is not everyone in it for the long haul? Is the pursuit of freedom worth the isolation and loneliness of the hard core? When does eccentricity become considered mental illness? Was the current work ethic always considered as important as it is today? Bill Davies lived his life as if he knew the answers to these questions.