Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homeless Shelter, for Willie's Pocket

In 1965, I "ran away" from home. I had just turned 19, dropped out of college, and was living with my parents when something bad happened to me. I didn't know what to do, so I left home and went down to live with a girl friend in NYC. We shared an apartment, but we got robbed several times and lost our jobs. She went home, but I stayed in the city, living as a homeless person on the streets. Everything I had was stolen, including my shoes. I had no where to stay and one of things I did was sleep--not on top of, but UNDER the park benches--I was afraid--and with good reason. I was afraid to sleep, ready to run if I needed to. I chose benches away from the main paths, with protective bushes. My life as a homeless person lasted off and on for several years. They were probably the worst years of my life.

I pasted a photo of my own face in the painting.

I am making a 4 x 6 print of this digital collage/smudge painting for Willie's pocket. (I mailed Andrea's Mole to Mike yesterday).

And here is another for WIllie's pocket:

This is my husband, who is also my model--for both art and photography. He was modeling a homeless person during the holiday season.

You can click on both of these images to see them larger.


steve said...

Moving story Mary - you're a true survivor. Look where you are now - making awesome art and alive to tell your story!

merrytait said...

Thanks, Steve. I appreciate your kind words.

I am hoping to do a series from that time for Willie, since he has an interest.

Aya Rosen said...

This story and painting is amazing. I'm so impressed with people who dare to live out of what's considered safe and normal.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...


And you're welcome. I wouldn't have shared if it weren't for Willie.

ballookey said...

I love how you pasted your own face in there - the expression really suits the piece and is heart-breaking.

merrytait said...

Thanks, Ballookey.

It was quite an adventure. But not something I'd want to wish on anyone else.

henniemavis said...

You are an amazing person, then & now :-) !!!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks! :-D

I'm not feeling particularly amazing at the moment, but thanks. :-D