For this week's Mahal, Clayton Patterson introduced us to the artist Anthony Dominguez, another Lower East Side legend, hero, and pioneer. Anthony has lived outside for 19 years.
Anthony has been living outdoors for 19 years. And he refuses to be controlled by computers. Once, a drug addict identifier website labeled him "a criminally insane drug addict on SSI (Social Security Supplemental Income), a male prostitute, and an SSD (Social Security Disability) with AIDS", all of which is untrue. From this description, Anthony might seem like a world-class, homeless loser. But Anthony is something like a man outside time. He’s fiercely independent and strangely captivating.
To Anthony, the false accusations are a ploy to discredit homeless people. He believes that those who post these profiles want to exploit homeless people as sexual objects and erase undesirable, prickly people like him. Anthony’s health has suffered in recent years. His only hope is to let people know that he is really a decent person or wish for a quick death.
Dr. Dave stopped by.
These hardships don’t keep him from staying upbeat and creating meticulously hand-crafted artwork. The work provides the world with an outsider's perception of society. He is a true master in the world of basic survival. He carries an entire art studio within his backpack and paints all of his pictures in the History section of the New York Public Library. He is represented by the American Primitive Gallery on the Upper East Side. He also has an upcoming show at the Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Art Museum in the Lower East Side, where his art will be on sale for only $800 a piece to help him subsist and keep making.
The show is titled, Exit the Fall, based on the lyrics to one of Anthony's songs:
"The past lives for tomorrow. That's how the future bit the apple and everybody missed the present. / When you live in being you get to the now and the new. Living being when you Exit The Fall."
Here’s his artist’s statement.
"To the people of New York, thank you for the opportunity you have given me to be a working artist and exercise being at peace with the Holy Spirit. We have to find our way the best we can. I just so happened to be lucky and realize what Christ was telling society about Exit The Fall. You mustn't make it into a prison, the Fall being the intellects' science theory. You won't find the Holy Spirit there because the Fall is what society your mother and father give you. The Holy Spirit comes to you through the heart or being when you can make the Fall being you can discover god in you."
Exit The Fall
Clayton Gallery & Outlaw Art Museum
161 Essex Street in the Lower East Side, New York
Wednesday 12/12/12 7-10pm
Open by appointment only after the opening.