Art, Alcohol, a Friendship Never Fulfilled and Tony Fitzpatrick
Tony Fitzpatrick is one of the most amazing people I have ever met but do not know. I'm GLAD I don't know him. You see, Tony came to my house to visit over 15 years ago shortly after I had stopped drinking. Mr. Fitzpatrick was an artist and a damn good one, he still is. After ten years drunk I was a recently sober art collector. Tony won't remember this, he'll barely remember me...but at that time, after confessing I was sober for the first time in forever, he asked me the question of four secret words exchanged between alcoholics. I said no, that I was doing it myself. Tony, after having only met me for the first time. looked me right in my eyes with his...his clear, powerful, serious eyes which only artists have, and said "If you ever feel like a drink again, you call me first."
I have never had to.
Memory is an amazing and curious thing. All of us go through our lives with hardly a thought about how we affect others. What to us might be a flippant comment, a friendly greeting, an abusive finger...could well stay with someone for years. It could stay with them forever. I guess it has to do with timing and chemicals.
I could write a biography of Tony Fitzpatrick here with the standard sources, but he and others have done it for me. Suffice to say, he is a father, an artist, a blunt former pug and poet, a tough mother for ya, one of the brightest lights in Chicago and one of the most honest people I have met but never knew. However, like most of my friends, I knew he was there the whole time, and that is what mattered. Today Tony and I are a few tentacles away from each other on Facebook. I haven't written him, he hasn't written me. But I know he is there. Still.
The images cribbed here are early work I can only assume are now owned by fortunate and proud collectors, if any want the images removed let me know. There is already a solid 25 years of good work behind Mr. Fitzpatrick and I could find more. Tony has done other work you have seen, most of Steve Earle's CD covers feature one of his works, as have others. He exhibits frequently at prominent galleries and his work is owned by prominent museums. His website is HERE