Title of publication: Horse Latitudes
Name of artist: Chris Wilson
Additional contributor/s: includes print portrait of the author by Gareth McConnell
Design: Helios Capdevila
Editor: Gareth McConnell & Thomas Rees
Publication date: 2013
Place of publication: London
Edition size: 1000
Format: Softback, approx. 25,000 + 16 full colour plates
Size: 12 x18 cm
Number of pages: 128
Type of printing: Offset
Name of printer: GGP Media GmbH
Number of pictures: 16
Description of book: Artist Chris Wilson tells his almost unbelievable life story in his first book Horse Latitudes. Accompanying the text are sixteen colour plates of his paintings – both are delivered with an intensity that is simultaneously shocking and thought provoking. Wilson’s story takes us from his idyllic childhood in 1960s Africa to the streets of San Francisco, where he had grown into a young man on the rampage through a world of addiction, incarceration and violence. Deported to the UK in 1998, a number of years follow with the author lying broken and spiritually defeated in an London hostel until finally, and unexpectedly, he manages to drag himself to a new life of art and societal contribution.
As much a narrative of attempted elevation and escapism through degradation and crime, as it is a glimpse of the poisoned beauty of the brutal underbelly of America, Horse Latitudes is also an opportune reminder of the futility of drug prohibition, the accompanying cost to society and the dehumanizing ferocity of the prison industrial complex.
A survivor of the American streets and penitentiaries, a recipient and in turn participant of British social care, the author is well positioned to tell a story that although confessional in nature, has timely political resonance. In the tradition of The Beats and as testament to lived experience on the wrong side of the tracks, the true-life stories are raw and at times almost inconceivable in their brutality, but are in turn redeemed with a poetic intelligence and insight that bows deeply to human sorrow and resilience.
Since becoming drug and crime-free, Wilson has trained as a project worker with the long-term homeless and studied Fine Art at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, London, where on graduation he received a First with Distinction.
Press website: www.sorika.com
Book Soundtrack: Iggy Pop. Sister Midnight