2007, charcoal on paper, 44" x 30"
Neil Marcus is a primary innovator of Disability Culture in the United States, whose performance and writing radically re-defines assumptions about disability. Marcus’s dance, performance and writing comprise radical statements of Disability Pride, done at a time when this was virtually unheard of in the arts. He posits the idea of Disability as a nation, with all the cultural attributes of any other identity: Disability is not a ‘brave struggle’ or ‘courage in the face of adversity’...disability is an art. It's an ingenious way to live.
Gene Kelly is an iconic figure for Marcus not only for the originality of his dancing, but for the way he transformed gender prejudices about the male body through grace, wit, sensuality, and power.
Neil sits holding an umbrella (referring to Singin’ in the Rain) that blazes with Hanukah candles (Marcus is Jewish). Jerry the Mouse (of the cartoon Tom & Jerry), runs on his knee, bearing the match that set this homage alight. Kelly “danced” with Jerry in Anchors Aweigh. Neil Marcus lives in Berkeley, CA.