Don't Erase Your Crooked Lines


  • Ann & Ellis Johnson Gallery of Art 322 8th Street Augusta, GA, 30901 United States

To be inspired, to have hope when the world deals you a blow is sometimes difficult. It's not what happens to you so much as to how you deal with the circumstances and project your resolve to live happily.

"Leonard ‘Porkchop’ Zimmerman doesn’t keep sketchbooks. He keeps diaries.

His ever-expanding library of black-bound books is not filled with aesthetic ideas and possible paintings, but moments of joy, pain and catharsis. His work, although always engaging, often whimsical and carefully constructed, isn’t about producing a thing of beauty. It’s about recording a life.

A good day for Zimmerman could result in the sort of high whimsy that crosses demographic lines, attracting both the serious art patron and the casual viewer. A bad day might result in a painful picture filled with the very personal visual language he has devised over the years.

The various robots – the centerpiece of much of his work – are colorful Everymen often representing the artist himself. Birds represent a lost love. Storm clouds the ill-advised temptations that darkened his past. Everything drawn, from his ubiquitous water tower to a simple loaf of bread, is part of Zimmerman’s art and therapy. His sketchbooks are art as memoir, a visual set of dots-and-dashes that, once decoded, tell not only the story of a single artist, but the story of anyone who has loved, lost and then managed to regain their footing.

This collection, drawn from several years of sketching and several hundred images, is that codebook. Some images give their stories up easily. Others are less defined. Some have made the transition to canvas. Others exist only in this form. Together, they explore the many facets of Zimmerman’s work – the aesthetic and symbolic, the public and very personal. They are, in a very real way, a record of life as Zimmerman chooses to see it – Porkchop’s World. He, and I, hope you enjoy the visit."

-Steven Uhles