Lloyd Heslet jr is the Discard Artist. George lives a section 8 life, a
recovering addict and mental health unit patient unable to work at anything
except the artwork he calls Impact Art. He won't
see his page here unless I show it to him.
He collects scrap wood, metal, appliances and all else by the side of the road in an attempt to prove the worth of all that is cast aside. Out of necessity he uses the collection to craft his art, sometimes sculpture , sometimes painting and sometimes piling up the things of yesterdays progress.
Today, George creates his amazing work using oil, acrylic and water paints...self hardening clays...plaster, solder and torches...he nails and screws and paints...he uses fire to bend plastic, solder guns to draw on Plexiglas , paints to talk.
I stood with him in the basement studio he calls Discardia , surrounded by fifty pieces of work and said " Do you still create?"
"I have to", he said. "I have too much to say. I can't stop now."
In Memory of George Lloyd Heslet jr.
died June 5, 2003
George's son Matt called me the other day. "John", he said, "my dad died".
George died June5, 2003. He was my first artist and lived nearby in the old steel town of Homestead. We met in early 1999 on the streets and without his unreasonable belief in this experiment, I would have quit long ago. George had nothing except his wife and kids. We visited often, mostly at his house or in Homestead. His little basement cramped at the sides with his art, stuffed to the ceiling, and the dark, damp confines always called to mind a cave where painting clung to walls. George literally scoured the earth for his supplies, picking up the castoffs of a society bent on new and using what scraps he found to craft his art. He earned the name Discard Artist. When he died, he was only around 45 and clean but an early big life addicted to narcotics and alcohol never let go. I miss him and when I look to the early morning sky, I see his color all over again.