By February 13, 2014 1 Comments Read More →

Fascinating Transformation: Visual Artist Billy Martin

Original Painting by Poppy Z. Brite // “The Fattest Cat”

It’s been more than two decades that artist Billy Martin released his first novel Lost Souls starring Steve and Ghost, the indomitable partners in adventure. I understand why the book achieved cult status. Martin is known for looking at these ‘little things’ that make life important: the character reading old love letters, the music playing on the radio, quotes from poets and even colors and textures that, not every author is gifted with-a surgeon’s eye for detail. I admit his stories are not for everyone. But they influenced a generation and that still reverberates up to this time.

Several novels later hurricane Katrina happened. I think in a way this has a huge impact in his life. Slowly we see the transformation of horror author Poppy Z Brite into Billy Martin. Perhaps I am one of those who anticipate another novel. Perhaps it’s still tucked inside that incredible mind. But for now he has directed his creative energy into visual art. This didn’t come as a surprise. His novels Lost Souls, Drawing Blood, Exquisite Corpse (and later on New Orleans-centered novels) depict characters with love for art.  So maybe there’s no more Poppy Z Brite. But graphic artist Billy Martin is definitely making New Orleans an interesting place to visit.

***

My intro to the works of Poppy Z Brite happened when my friend Karen Kunawicz who writes for the Manila Times gave me a copy of Wormwood(a collection of Brite’s short stories). I remember meeting Neil Gaiman at a book signing for the first time. I told him I’m also a huge fan of Brite. And he was just raving about Brite and how they had dinner in New Orleans because Brite loves food( and is a good cook). I think that story is really amazing. Authors are also people who lead many facets of their lives. But their minds are extraordinary. And one of those minds is Billy Martin formerly known as Poppy Z Brite.

Visit his art shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PZBART

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With music we build bridges!
  • Mark Gordon Brown

    He/She is a hypocrite who only believes in freedom for himself and no one else.

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