Gregory Warmack died May 30 of an infection in an Atlanta, Ga. hospital.
He was 64 on the outside and 24 on the inside.
We could all use a little more of his childlike views.
My friend and artist Tony Fitzpatrick recalls Warmack as one of the kindest people he has ever met.
"Greg was an absolute shaman when it came to marrying materials, taking things that normal people throw out and making it reborn," Fitzpatrick said on Thursday. "His work echoed his experience in Chicago, his life, a descendant from Africa. Those idioms became clear. It was magical and humane. I learned from Greg. When I started using matchbooks, scraps and wrappers, I owe the idea of seeing possibility in those objects to Gregory......
"......His endless quest to give a second definition to common objects."
A beautiful metaphor for life.
Here are two Sun-Times dispatches from hanging with Gregory in the summer of 1996.
Warmack moved to Bethlehem, Pa. in 2002. He lost most of his artwork and his dog Pharaoh in a 2008 house fire and settled in Atlanta in 2009.
July 14, 1996--
The eyes have it.
That is clearly the conclusion after a visit to the cluttered North Side apartment/studio of folk artist Gregory Warmack. Known to friends as "Mr. Imagination," nothing escapes the childlike eyes of Warmack, a 48-year-old Maywood native..........