Not Far From HOME?: A Peek at Willie Baronet's Show at Hal Samples Gallery
Since 1993 Ive been buying and collecting homeless signs from people on the streets, in subways, under bridges, in cities near and far. It began from an awkwardness I felt when Id pull up to an intersection and encounter a person holding a sign, asking for help. Like many people I wrestled with whether or not I was doing good by giving them money, wondered if they would spend the money on food or alcohol or drugs. Mostly I struggled with my moral obligations, and how my own choices contributed in conscious or unconscious ways to the poverty I was witnessing. I struggled with the unfairness of the lives people are born into, the physical, mental and psychological handicaps. And in my struggle I often avoided eye contact with those on the street, unwilling to really see them, and in doing so avoided seeing parts of myself.