The Visionary Art of Prisoner 114591

| 3/31/2008 6:17:39 PM

Frank Jones artThere once was a Texas prisoner named Frank Jones (1900-1969), who “as a child . . . was told that he was born with a veil over his left eye, and that this veil would enable him to see spirits,” reports Lynne Adele in the outsider art magazine Raw Vision, winner of a 2006 Utne Independent Press Award (article not available online).

Once incarcerated, Jones scavenged blue- and red-colored pencils from prison bookkeepers and embarked upon drawing “devil houses”—loose representations of the Huntsville Prison where he served a life sentence. The devil houses feature thorny compartments populated by wicked spirits that Jones called haints.

Adele writes, “Although Jones’s haints appear to be friendly and playful, their benign expressions disguise their true objectives. Jones indicated that they smile because ‘they’re happy, waiting for your soul’ . . . [they] smile ‘to get you to come closer . . . to drag you down and make you do bad things. They laugh when they do that.’”

Jason Ericson

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me