Striking Large Blue Ink Prison Drawing of "Chico" Pete J. Ortiz, May 1979, 19 Years Old

Regular price $175.00

I was struck by the beauty and sensitivity of this portrait before I learned it was drawn in prison, May 5, 1979--a portrait of Pete J. Ortiz at the age of 19, as written on one edge of the back of the paper. Blue ballpoint pen on cream paper, drawn by "AL" it appears, and just below that is "D.V.I" followed by a number-- I believe indicating that Ortiz was being held at the Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI), a state prison located in San Joaquin County, California--not far from the seller I purchased this from. Also on the reverse, a note from Pete to "Jessie Mi Armana," with love and kisses and respect. It seems AL must have run through the ink of several pens drawing this, with a density of looping lines yielding just about the best drawn afro I've ever seen, and a poignant portrait that feels full of life. Neatly folded up long ago many times over.

20 5/8" x 17" and in very good condition, with a couple of small toning spots and minor wear/loss at corners. I photographed it immediately after unfolding it and it lies pretty flat; the paper is soft and putting a little weight on it out for a day or two it will flatten it out nicely.