Omar, acrylic on canvas, 48" x 40" 1974
Omar was created from a composite of memories growing out of my friendship with an extraordinary human being. Incarcerated as a teenager, Omar had been in a prison fire. The guards heard him screaming, but did not release him from his cell. His hands welded to the bars. He sustained horrendous burns, and large areas of his dark brown skin were stripped from his body.
I first met Omar while doing paralegal work in the Erie County Jail in Buffalo, NY. A defendant of the famed 1971 Attica Prison rebellion, he was awaiting trial, ultimately to be acquitted. We were both artists, and shared our work during our prison visits.