May 2, 1994

WHENEVER I FEEL the need to draw but there's no model around, I draw a skull that sits on my desk. He was about thirty years old. Of African ancestry, he died in India sometime during this century. He was mainly vegetarian, and lived on stone-ground flour. This I know from his teeth, which are polished smooth from the abrasive food. Some of them are worn through to the nerve, and he had deep abscesses where infections ate through the bone of his face. He must have been in constant, dreadful pain. He probably died of pneumonia, which is what most people die from. I have no name for him. He had his own name, and I don't know what it was. I will not do him the indignity of naming him again. His dry bones brought more money than he ever made in his life. Even in death he keeps on working, and he's still not getting paid. Whenever I draw him I think of modern dentistry. If I could live anywhere or anywhen, it would be here and now. Especially when I bite into an apple.


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Artist's Model

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