Dov Harel Talpaz has employed the current painter "chain letter" game to coax me to take a closer look at Ralph Blakelock, and I'm glad he worked on this aim since Early Winter 2010. Blakelock is a fascinating study in art world economics and art world politics. He couldn't get a good price for one of his paintings, and when he finally struck a price, he tore the money into shreds in the throes of a nervous breakdown, according to legend. Then, when one of his paintings set a record for an auction record in 1916, a woman posing as a socialite found Blakelock in the asylum, after two decades in custodial care, and pretty much ran his life and career until his death in 1919, keeping him painting but poor.
I found this painting, At The Asylum, at a dealer who makes a market in Blakelock, Questroyal Fine Art. The University of Nebraska - Lincoln maintains archives, indexes and a collection of paintings. But why did Dov pick a painter who suffered from breakdowns and delusions for me to chase after? Now, in the spirit of good fun, now that I have fulfilled his assignment, I shall guide
Dave Johnson after Mercedes Matter and
Kelly Craydon-Lenger after Jon McDonald.