We've Always Been Here
acrylic, spray paint, chalk pastel on stretched canvas, 72 in. x 204 in.
A Death in the Family
spray paint, acrylic, and chalk on stretched canvas, 100 in. x 72 in.
Horseshoes (Where Are We Going?)
spray paint and chalk pastel on stretched canvas, 100 in. x 72 in.
spray paint on stretched canvas, 120 in. x 72 in.
A Prayer for Safe Passage
spray paint and chalk pastel on stretched canvas, 90 in. x 72 in.
spray paint and chalk pastel on stretched canvas, 108 in. x 96 in.
We're All Islands
spray paint on stretched canvas, 90 inches x 72 inches
With tombstone friends marking mile after mile
spray paint on stretched canvas, 120 inches x 150 inches

Dead Calm

It was dead calm when they came down from the sky. Painted red, like the hills behind my house, they touched the earth gently. They’ve always been here but I was happy to see them, even though I couldn’t make out their faces. 


Cars will be the death of us. Where are we going anyhow? I’d like to know or maybe I wouldn’t. 


Somewhere out in those hills are snakes and that terrifies me-- even though I know it shouldn’t. One time, a rattlesnake almost made it inside our house. Do you hang a horseshoe upside or down?


When he died, everyone put a sign in their lawn with the number “77” on it. That was his number in football, he was only 17 years old.


When our eyes meet there are only two-- you and me. Can you tell how much I love you?




These paintings lay bare what it means for me to be alive. Despite the impossibility of knowing, my work attempts to understand the meaning and breadth of life. What lies beyond death? What happened before birth? What do I do with all of this beauty? And all of this sorrow? 


These works do not provide any answers. Instead, each piece is representative of my pursuit of knowing. Each one, a wondrous failed attempt to understand.

All images copyright Henry Austin 2020