cover image Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews

Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews

Kathleen Benson, illus. by Benny Andrews. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-10487-7

Artist Andrews’s own striking paintings illustrate the story of his life and work, eloquently told by Benson. With an often difficult childhood spent working in cotton fields, Andrews found inspiration for his childhood drawings from workers in the field, “church ladies’ hats and the preacher’s Bible stories,” comics, and movies. Andrews’s eventual departure from Georgia—first through the Air Force, then to art school in Chicago—led to a broadening of his subject matter and style. In New York City, his artwork increasingly reflected his social conscience: he painted Harlem residents, living at the advent of the civil rights movement. His images blend whimsical elements—tree leaves resemble globular mosaic glasswork in one scene—with stark depictions of struggle, emphasizing his efforts to find intersections between creativity and social justice. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)