Stan Adler and Brad Brown
Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 122 in March, 2010.
Artist's note: 40 is a collaboration by Brad Brown and Stan Adler. The project consists of forty drawings aligned with forty narratives. The drawings came first. Brown worked on the drawings over the course of the last ten years, allowing conscious and incidental marks to accumulate on the pages over the course of time. The 11x11 inch drawings are made of oil, charcoal, pen and ink, color pencils, and watercolor. Brown completed the series in March and offered them to Adler as impetus and maps for narratives, thus subverting the typical order where the artist illustrates an existing text.
In Adler’s narratives, 40 represents a closing down, opening up, and culmination of two alternating story lines: 1—a couple of characters somewhere up there (ranging from 5,000 feet to deep space) on missions of reconnaissance, revelation, and exploration. 2—several assorted and distorted characters on Earth searching for some understanding, solace, vision, and insight at Robert Johnson type crossroads or lost and deranged at the epicenter of the sprawl.
Following are image and text combinations, numbers one through eight: