Gary Myrick: the 1957 Cadillac

Gary Myrick honed his skills working at Six Flags drawing portraits day in and day out. He transitioned to becoming a courtroom artist on contract with a local tv station. He would set up shop in the courtroom and try to create a story through his images--thinking about sequencing and how the news uses images to frame up the newsbite. He would work with the video crews on how to shoot, light and frame the images as he had this in his background as well--taking the delivery into consideration in the selection of colors, backgrounds etc. He worked in Texas but also had opportunities to do national jobs. He was involved in the Paula Jones case as well as that of the Branch Davidians. It was insightful to hear him talk about the first hand news as he experienced it and the reporting on the radio and how often they did not match. He was intrigued by this work, loved it --as he used his skills as an artist to be a journalist to tell the stories visually and engage the new audience in a way beyond the audio. My sadness in hearing him speak was that essentially, the courtroom artist role has changed now that photography is allowed and he has not taken his skills to morph into more pure journalism, writing and reflecting on his observations (of which there are many and are colorful), or transitioning his abilities into story boarding, graphic novels or something else. He has stopped this work and will do it if asked...but certainly without the regularity of the past. He is an interesting artist--and part of a visual tradition of reportage--I have to believe there still is a place for visual interpretation of events--it's just that it may be a stretch for Gary to go there--to explore a new avenue, a new use for his pointed wit and observational skills.

The image of the big red head was of a defendant in a trial that Gary got in trouble for by referring to her as the "1957 Cadillac". Perfection.