Mo

Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014.

It was a disturbance in a nearby alley that had me jump out of bed early that Saturday morning. There he was, dressed sharp patiently searching beneath the open lid’s layered discards. From the moment our eyes locked there was a familiarity that hit close to home when we both found out we were from Georgia. As he spoke about the changes that had placed him on the streets and which were quickly about to take him back off, he spoke deeply about his two young boys, how he had tried to hide his affairs from them, and how recently, they had ‘caught’ him. He said he told them “one day you will understand… when you see it through the eyes of a man.”

To begin to comprehend the story of Mo, one must approach the facts from a different perspective. We must bend, kneel, or twist our way around what is before us to uncover the deeper truth. I intentionally did not write anything on top of the canvas. There is nothing to be learned when approaching the unknown when one approaches from above.

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48" x 60", 2014. Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014. Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering). Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering). Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering 2). Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering 2). Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering 3). Josh Hunter

Mo, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 60″, 2014 (Detail of canvas wrapped lettering 3). Josh Hunter

Mo (detail).

Mo (detail).

Mo (detail).

Mo (detail).

Mo (detail).

Mo (detail).

 

 

Cysco

Acrylic, Gouache, Sharpie and Colored Pencil on Wood Panel, 18″ x 24″, 2013.

“You want to take a picture of me?! Why?” Cysco asked.

“Because I’m an artist and I’m making these drawings,” I spoke back.

“How much is it going to cost me?”

“Nothing,” I replied, “Nothing at all.”

Cysco then dropped his guard, stepped to his left, and extended his left arm, gripping the steel rail firmly. He stared back; a look of absolute heroism.

Cysco painting by Josh Hunter

Cysco painting by Josh Hunter

Cysco (detail).

Cysco (detail).

Cysco (detail).

Cysco (detail).

Steven

Gouache & Acrylic on Wood Panel, 48” x 31”, 2013.

Steven by Josh Hunter

Steven by Josh Hunter

He reminded me of Rip Van Wrinkle with a beard that hinted at last night’s sleep; leaves and crumbs captured in its unkempt beauty. Steven is one of those street men who speaks in poetic epiphanies and alludes to stories so keen with detail that I believe truth is hidden in there somewhere. This particular day I asked what he intended to do with the rest of our overcast, gray afternoon. “Well, let me show you,” he said. Digging deep into a grocery bag, he pulled out a magazine and thumbed through it with practiced care until he found an image of a gorgeous woman lying in a bed of rose petals. Proudly showing me his muse, he proclaimed, “I’m going to write about her.”

Steven

Steven

Loyd

Gouache, Acrylic, Colored Pencil & Sharpie Marker on 2 Wood Panels, 48” x 24”, 2013.

Loyd. Gouache and acrylic on wood panel. Art by Josh Hunter, 2013.

Loyd. Gouache and acrylic on wood panel. Art by Josh Hunter, 2013.

Loyd is the first street recycler I met. Driving from Banker’s Hill to the beach, I passed a man pushing a cart flanked on every side with bags and buckets. I parked my car and walked the few blocks back to him. We talked about life and he introduced me to “canning.”

People haul their trash to the street and Loyd mines for the hidden gems within. It’s not safe, it’s not glorious, but I admired such an unexpected work ethic

Loyd (detail).

Loyd (detail).

Loyd (detail).

Loyd (detail).

Loyd (detail).

Loyd (detail).

Loyd by Josh Hunter, 2013.

Loyd by Josh Hunter, 2013.

James & Jarrett

Oil on Canvas, 60” x 68”, 2012.

James and Jarrett oil on canvas by Josh Hunter

James and Jarrett oil on canvas by Josh Hunter

“How do you gets these carts back down the hills?” I asked

“Why? Want to see me do it?” James called out to me as his buddy Jarrett covered his mouth and began laughing a huge, “Oh man! Oh mannnn! Watch this!”

“Black Magic,” the name James is truly known for, and Jarrett aree masters of the Canning game. Trekking two empty shopping carts up from the base of Downtown to the heights of Banker’s Hill, they ride. Reaching terrifying speeds, they control their overflowing 800-pound chariots back down the steep hills to the Hancock Recycling Center.

James and Jarrett (detail).

James and Jarrett (detail).

James and Jarrett (detail).

James and Jarrett (detail).

James and Jarrett (on the streets).

James and Jarrett (on the streets).