DETROIT — A particular tenet of the recovery group Alcoholics Anonymous is that the label of “alcoholic” cannot be applied to a person from an external source. Put another way: only you can know (or admit) that you are an alcoholic. Of course, that tenet doesn’t stop many of us from armchair-diagnosing other people as alcoholics, and, labels aside, it’s often easy to spot those for whom drinking is a source of trouble or preoccupation.
Painter Thelonius “T-Bone” Bone supports himself as a bartender at the Bronx Bar — one of the longer-standing watering holes in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood, before it was rebranded as Midtown — and this creates an excellent vantage point from which to observe many such individuals. In a new body of work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Bone juxtaposes surreal and vivid portraits of bar patrons with object studies of drinks and other bar ephemera.
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Image courtesy of the artist and Playground Detroit