“Home is Where You Can Drown" is the title piece to my show, of the same name which will be debuting in Atlanta, Georgia on November 1st at Octane Westside.
"Home is Where You Drown" is a series of new works depicting experiences of growing up in a small town with a rare syndrome called "Nagers Syndrome." Growing up deaf, dealing with multiple surgeries as well as countless misconceptions by strangers, this show addresses the issues of growing up with something that is not commonly known to others and how others have reacted to me.
While many experiences have inspired this show, this illustration is the piece that started me on the path of making a show. The piece is based on a moment I had when I was a teenager. When I was 17 i’d usually trespass hotel pools back in my hometown. I lived in a beach area, but pools for me were always better. So my friends and I would do this regularly until management would have to ask us to leave. The pools are filled with tourists.
One day I was out with a friend of mine at the time, and we were just hanging out in the pool. I had my hearing aid off, because I can’t have my hearing aid in or near water. All of a sudden I turn to my right to see a larger older man talking to my friend. My friend speaks up and says (so I can at least faintly hear her), “He can’t hear you speak up.”
So the man come to find out was trying to have a conversation with me but since I couldn’t hear a thing, I didn’t really notice him. He speaks up and starts a statement off by saying “I’m a doctor.”
Now, weirdly enough I feel like anytime someone is about to say just something offensive to me or rude (etc.) the person always claims to be some sort of doctor.
"I noticed you around the pool," he continued "I feel like you would be a great candidate to go to this camp for the retarded."
After a brief pause on my part — mostly due to shock, I corrected him and told him what I did have, and continued to tell him I was moving to Atlanta to pursue my career in illustration. This made him notably embarrassed and he simply walked off.
This experience among others in my life are portrayed in the show with colorful giant illustrations. While the show will run all month long in November, on November 8th there will be a special opening reception at Octane Westside from 8-11pm EST which will feature some awesome secret collaborations to be revealed soon. In the meantime follow barrydraws on Instagram for more sketches and WIP shots/updates, i’ll be posting the rest of the pieces after the show has launched.
Illustration by Barry Lee.
Muppet creator Jim Henson would’ve been 78 today, Happy Birthday Jim.
Happy Birthday, Bill Murray.