Edgar Jerins: Life in Charcoal (Hardcover)
Forged in the crucible of family tragedy, Edgar Jerins' monumental charcoal drawings are a towering achievement of contemporary American art. Arthur Miller commanded "Attention must be paid" and in these meticulously observed images, the artist does exactly that. His middle American subjects have been buffeted by a sea of troubles, sometimes of their own causing. Jerins brilliantly and movingly captures friends and family members at a moment when all denial has been stripped away. There is no irony here, no flippant art world in-jokes, no smug condescension and certainly no sentimentality. Jerins shows us the redemptive power of suffering, the quiet heroism of the American spirit, and our refusal to give up no matter the odds against us. The difficulties his subjects have with relationships, money, health, aging, substance abuse, violence, and death are part of the human condition that we Americans all know too well. With unflinching honesty and the kind of empathy only known by fellow travelers, Edgar Jerins brings a new realism to American art. His art is not just about life, it is life.