James A. Allen
Paintings and Drawings
I Am Poor, I Am Hungry
The series "I Am Poor, I Am Hungry" was originally created for a one-room exhibition at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in Buffalo. Its theme was, rather obviously, hunger and poverty. I combined familiar "types" of the impoverished persons from my own society and from the poor in sub-Saharan Africa.
The first figure groupings encountered upon entering the exhibition space were relatively naturalistic in appearance, beginning with classic "beggar" poses. Progressing down either side wall, the figures became somewhat more brooding, distorted, disoriented, leading to a variation on the medieval "Dance of Death". The final, culminating wall completes the steady collapse of the grand into the grotesque, presenting an emaciated version of DaVinci's Vitruvian Man surrounded by child figures of a decidedly mutated nature.
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