Kari Stieglitz Black


Waiting for Glinda (2019)
oil on canvas
48 x 30 in.
$10,000
Raven (2019)
oil on canvas
48 x 30 in.
$10,000

I befriended a number of homeless folks on the streets of Chicago. I asked them their stories and a similar theme often came up. Hope that someone or something would arrive and make their misfortunes go away.

I met the man (Tien) near a memorial that had been set up for another homeless man (Ray) who had died during the night of a brain hemorrhage. I was looking at the flowers and candles left there and reading the messages and poems scrawled on cardboard. Tien came up to me and said, “I hope someone will care about me that way some day.” I told him I was an artist who cared and said I wanted to paint pictures to honor the homeless and call attention to the problem. I asked for his permission to take his picture and then paint him. He readily posed for me.

“Raven” is the name of the woman. She also gave me permission to take her picture and paint her. I’ve also gotten to know many homeless people when I provided art lessons for them at the museum I work for. There is a shortage of beds for people who want them. Some refuse the shelters for a variety of reasons. Life for the homeless just got much more precarious with Covid 19. A difficult problem just got harder.

artist’s website

© Kari Stieglitz Black