Art Critic Pt. 6


I make my way back to Josiah's home and approach the garage. I had a suspicion about the grandfather when I saw all of the canvas in the garage. I scribbled down the address that day and waited an entire weekend to chat. I didn't feel bad about charging Thomas for it either. Cost of doing business or whatever. I'll make something up, charge a few extra meals too.

I make my way to the garage where I can hear classic jazz playing, and someone working inside for sure. I knock on the garage door. Nothing. A little louder, and the music stops. The motor clicks on and slowly the garage door starts to raise. There stands an old man, in good shape for his age. A real Issac Hayes looking guy, bald but a neatly trimmed and greying beard. A wooden necklace with a painted black power medallion. The garage closes before I can get a real view of what's inside. Most of it has been covered with tarps. Still flecks of paint dot his clothing. If he was just doing acrylic there would be way less mess. Yeah, this is my guy.

"Hey, nice to meet you. I'm Javon Swift," I offer my hand.

"I know you. My grandson told me all about you," he doesn't shake my hand.

"Great, so you know who I'm looking for."

"Yeah I know."

"I was hoping you would be able to tell me a little more about the artwork. Help me figure out who might relate to it. Josiah said you were really good at that," I'll just play a game for now.

"Sure, what do you got? This photo here. I thought it reminded me of some artwork my grandparents had. Thought it might be Harlem Renaissance related," I show him a photo of the artwork and he looks intrigued.

"Ah yes, that is the work of Aaron Douglass. In particular that one is titled The Judgement Day. The idea that people will be judged for their actions in this world is a recurring theme in many religions, mythologies and so forth. Mr. Douglass had a very unique style, hard to replicate but when done correctly it is magnificent," he's nearly blushing as he talks about it.

"Thank you Mr. I didn't catch your name."

"Yates, Mr. Yates will work just fine."

"Are you an artist as well, I noticed the paint."

"I wanted to be as a kid. I spent my time as a Railroad Bull. Complete opposite. I just picked it up as a hobby since I've retired."

"I would love to see some of your work Mr. Yates."

"We can take a look right now," he leads me into his home.

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