William Henry Roscoe Cummingjoe Is Ready

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Marker on paper
24 x 18 inches
Collection of
The Studio Museum in Harlem
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Henry Speller’s guitar is his diary. It contains the memories and allows them to be conjured forth. His drawings preserve them. They are illustrated musical compositions, improvisational but ordered, structured. The instruments are there, look for them. The wavy lines, droning harmonicas. Staccato drum beats, dot dot dot. The plunk of the banjo. The vibrating, resonating guitar strings, literally drawn in. Look for William Henry Roscoe Cummingjoe Is Ready, one of the most outrageous self-portraits out there. It tells you most of what you need to know.