New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sir Shadow

I am not going to render an opinion here on Sir Shadow's art, but I will report that it is certainly a phenomenon. After gleaning his website, I see that he is on the road to becoming a one man industry. As I have written here before, it is always so surprising how one can be unaware of people, places or things in this city which are virtual institutions, in many cases having had major news coverage such as articles in the New York Times. A good example of this is Joe Ades, the Gentleman Peeler, a character who has based himself in Union Square and about whom I have previously posted - see here.
Sir Shadow, 59 years old, was born Thomas Allen Paxton and grew up in Jamaica Queens, New York. Paxton, a high school drop out, has never gone to art school. He resides in the last flophouse on the Bowery, with recent plans for conversion.
New York City has the population density, diversity and tolerance to embrace and nurture any self promoter who has good schtick and chutzpah. Self-confidence in tandem with a creative mind will permit virtually any endeavor to become a potential success - there are always patrons to be had, even with the most bizarre products or services. This city is a cauldron, always brewing soups with unconventional unique ingredients.
I was amazed at Sir Shadow's fluidity. He is a master of the flow (part of his tag line) and improvisational poetry, describing his work as The One Line Art & Flowetry of Sir Shadow. He creates highly stylized line drawings in one continuous movement, never lifting the pen. A drawing in his signature silver ink is completed in a minute or two. For $20, he will make a personalized piece for a customer, while reciting a poem particular to that individual. See more photos here.
Although I imagine art snobs may turn their noses at such a commercial endeavor, this man has created his own business and taken himself from homelessness. He has a website, blog, online shop, a book, a fan club, youtube videos and a myspace site. A master of self promotion, Sir Shadow is now offering $1 million dollars to anyone who helps him earn $2 million ...

8 comments:

Wayne said...

$20.00 is going to look like a sweet deal in a few years. I hope you've got your original 'Sir Shadow' already Brian.

Therese said...

One more example! One more lesson.
Wow!

http://naomid.net said...

I'll give anyone $500,000 to anyone who helps me help sir shadow earn $2 million...kidding!

sass said...

where can sir shadow generally be found?

Lo said...

I like this pic very much!

Personalized Pens said...

the picture is fantastic! i really like sir Shadow's art especially his one line drawings it is an original one line drawing. The image is created by one continuous line. The pen never leaves the paper from the time the image begins until the drawing is completed. Very unique.

Cheers,
Bella

RayJay said...

I fell in love with his art when I was a junior in college (2003). I've had one of his posters mounted and framed in my home for about 5 years now. Everyone who sees it is amazed by the talent it takes to produce such an amazing picture from one single pen stroke.

Anonymous said...

This "man" is one of the biggest assholes of new york, excuse my language. He is racist, rude, misogynistic, and completely unaware. To hear him considered one of NYC's institutions makes me want to vacate the city.