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When my friend, former DARts on-paper contributor, poet, philosopher, art critic and painter Michael Helsem was leaving Dallas for Seattle many years ago, he showed me an album of color prints of all his paintings. He offered to give me any one I chose.

I perused the pictures carefully, and chose this Blasphemies of the Dwarf Jester, never really thinking what size it would be. I mean, I assumed it was something like two by three feet or so. I was startled when I learned it was actually 4 x 8 feet, certainly the largest piece in my collection. Luckily, I have three walls in my house that art that big, and over the years this huge piece has graced each of them.

It's sitting on my dining room table right now, and I'm hoping it will choose another place to settle soon. Michael explained the genesis of this painting to me, saying it was based on the homunculus. Each part of the human body ( excluding the sexual organs ) is sized in proportion to the number of nerve endings it has.

The place shown is familiar to me, because I've been in this back porch of mutual friend Jill Parr's old house on Victor Street, where Michael used to paint. Michael is not, in this painting, but the porch is rendered accurately.
  

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All Contents © 2001 by J R Compton. Individual pieces of art are copyright their dates of creation to their creators. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to reproduce these pages or the artworks on them in any medium, either physically or electronically, analog or digital.

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