Graham captures beat between the beats'
LIVING QUIETLY, THINKING DEEP John Graham is not a man of convention. A self-described "hobo," he has, quite literally, sacrificed everything for the sake of art. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Elizabeth Hall / special to The Star
Dec. 1, 2002
While John Graham loves company, he is not always easy to reach. With no phone or computer, visitors who simply drop by his studio/apartment stand the best chance.
Even then, first-time callers will notice a short, polite note, taped to what looks like the front door, instructing them to rap on the garage-like back door instead.
In short, Graham is not a man of convention. A self-described "hobo," he has, quite literally, sacrificed everything for the sake of art.
Though Graham was an avid drawer as a child, it was not until his freshman year at Jones Junior College that he caught the eye of his art instructor, David Sullivan.
After two years at Jones, Graham transferred to the University of Mississippi, where he studied under Jerry Allen. While there, he became one of the first undergraduate students to show work at the prestigious Southside Gallery in downtown Oxford.
These days, Graham's style is difficult to pinpoint which is just as he would have it.
This is not to say Graham's work leaves no room for analysis. Most of his paintings, in fact, tend to be filled with subtle symbolism.
Another yet-unnamed piece shows a harlequin holding a red rose.
Then there is the recently-finished "Childhood Portals Revisited," a vivid barnyard scene composed in conjunction with a short independent film by a close friend.
Many of Graham's paintings focus on musicians, which he attributes to his own passion for music, especially the blues.
With the exception of a handful of paintings at Marmadukes, Graham's art is not currently on display.
And, though he fills occasional requests for commissions, he paints mainly "because I couldn't imagine not painting."
In the future, Graham plans to become more public with his work.
But, for now, he said he is content to live quietly and work.