Friday, July 28, 2006

Seymour Perkins makes art, and gets inspected for his troubles

This is definitely strange.

A 75-year-old man feels like he's being persecuted by San Antonio's code compliance department, despite the fact that he has numerous code violations -- some dangerous -- on his property.

But please don't tell him to straighten things up. He is an artist, after all.

After the inspection, which included a dog trained to sniff out drugs, [Seymour] Perkins was issued citations for “accumulation of trash and debris,” “electrical hazards,” “gas lines not being used needing to be capped,” and “operating a church without a permit.”

It's so bad that even Perkins's daughter thinks the place should be cleaned up.

For Perkins, the inspections represented a slap in the face, a city declaration that his art is merely trash and his ministry is invalid. His voice nearly cracks with emotion every time he discusses the subject. For his family members, however, there are more pressing concerns than bruised feelings.

“We need someone to help us move all these things,” said Perkins’s daughter Chris, appealing to the reverend’s friends in the local art community. “We can’t do it alone.”

But, this being a story from the San Antonio Current, of course the man is just a misunderstood artist. (Oh, and he's not really a reverend. He just calls himself one.)

Perkins is living the sad contradiction faced by many so-called “outsider artists,” compounded by his advancing age.

Did I mention that Perkins also believes his home will be the northern end of a tunnel railroad to Mexico that will lead to "a Latino takeover of the Americas in 2010"? And that he has a "pregnant hookers' bench"?

And did I mention that this whole thing is strange?

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