A Peculiar Little Doodle & Poem

Pencil drawing attributed to Danny Allen. Unsigned and undated--probably from the late 1960s.

Pencil drawing attributed to Danny Allen. Unsigned and undated–probably from the late 1960s.

Work continues to surface, and I’m awaiting a scan of a watercolor from a collection in New York. Shortly before Danny Allen’s sister and brother in law came down to Philadelphia to collect up Dan’s portfolios, I went through them one last time to look at everything and make sure it was all in order. There was a small section of drawings that weren’t Dan’s. There were only a couple drawings in the folio that weren’t Danny’s work–but rather were things done by college friends of mine that had just somehow found their way into Dan’s portfolio. As I went to remove the pieces by other artists I took a closer look at a particualr piece I’d never before considered to be by Danny, but I’ve since changed my mind.

The piece is heavily influenced by another Rochester artist (also deceased) by the name of Ramon Santiago. Santiago had quite a following in the late 1960s and early 1970s. To the best of my knowledge Dan didn’t know Santiago personally–but it was difficult to escape his work, tt was literally everywhere. Ramon Santiago’s art had a “harlequin” quality with a dash of “Yellow Submarine.” This unfinished drawing also has that feeling, but very much in Danny’s hand. However, it was the poem off to the right that makes me think this is one of Dan’s pieces. The poem is written in the abstract jabberwocky style he favored, so I included it with the art being returned to the Allen family. To the best of my ability, this is what I believe the handwriting says:

Digitally darkened detail of the face and animal.

Digitally darkened detail of the face and animal.

If she rises from

a half shell

she rises with

glow and forth luck

and some time.

He falls from the

Other half shell.

Note: Other poems by Danny Allen reference Botticelli’s ‘Venus” but I don’t see the relationship to the drawing itself. The drawing looks to me like a man wearing a helmet and the start of a pony or unicorn off to the viewer’s lower right.

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