Neil Shigley

San Diego, California
Michael 67 (Pastor Shelby)
Plexiglas-block print on paper mounted on canvas, 2011
Collection of the artist

 

My subjects are homeless people living on the streets near my studio. They are people who are invisible to most of us. Their daily struggle to survive has given them incredible character that could not be earned any other way. Nobility, beauty, strength, vulnerability: they are there if we only look. Presenting them in this large format will perhaps force people to confront these people and their situation, and bring them into focus.

Pastor Shelby wasn’t like most people I’ve met on the streets. He was a happy, compassionate man who said that his purpose was to help others on the streets. When asked how he ended up there he said, “I need to be here!” When asked how he deals with the elements he replied, “I am the elements!” I am lucky to have met him. I never saw him again, but he left a great impression. 

Video Interview: 

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