Artist Maysey Craddock was gracious enough to allow me to live with her, at her creaky old house on Jena Street in New Orleans, in the summer of 1999, when I first came here. I worked a lot that summer - at an office full of renegade, British radicals trying to stamp out the American death penalty - but, at Maysey's house, drinking gin and tonic, there was an altogether different tone and feeling that could have only been in New Orleans, a city that I grew to love sweating in the summer heat on her back patio.
I lounged around the unairconditioned house in suit pants and an undershirt, having peeled off layers of my suit to get a break from the heat, which Maysey took as a good enough reason to start calling me "Boarder," in her elegant, high Memphis accent. To fulfill my role, I frequently drank in excess and put on twenty pounds of turkey necks, fried chicken, and red beans. It was as close as my life will likely come to a Tennessee Williams play.
While Maysey's work is "southern," it accomplishes this in the tradition of fellow Memphis inhabitant, William Eggleston, which is to say that it manages to be both highly vernacular and altogether universal.
Maysey has her first New York show, called, coincidentally, "Borderland," with an opening this Thursday at the Nancy Margolis Gallery. If you are in New York, you should go.
Maysey Craddock : borderland
nancy margolis gallery
september 10 - october 17 2009
opening september 10, 2009 6pm - 8pm