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William "Gabby" Gaberino - Self Portrait, 1975
oil on masonite - 30.5 x 25.5 inches

Meet William "Gabby" Gaberino, in his 1975 Self Portrait. Gabby was one of my nine good friends who killed themselves, though perhaps he did not intentionally suicide. Gabby painted this self-portrait in an art class at El Centro College, well after he started his mostly self- taught art career.

Gabby was a contributor and my best friend and confidant when I published Dallas NOTES and Hooka Underground newspapers here in the early 70s. He was also certifiable, had got major doses of electro- shock therapy (which he said he liked) and had spent time, he bragged, in every psychiatric ward from here to Terrell. He was crazy, he told me, because he was gay.

When he gave me this painting, he joked that it should have said "three," since he was "as queer as a three- dollar bill."

Last time I saw Gabby, he was lying nearly naked in the Intensive Care Unit at Parkland Hospital after he'd been hit by a car while jogging. He died without regaining consciousness.

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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