Outlaw art: "The Man in the Window"
I'm not a huge art fanatic. But Friday evening, I helped hang one of the
best more controversial art exhibits ever to appear in Baltimore.
There is a mysterious dude named John who lives across the street from the Idle Hour. He spends a lot of time peering out of his second-story window, looking down at Fort Avenue. But he never goes in Idle Hour. All we know about him is his name.
This is the part where John Woestendiek comes in. He's an incredible writer, blogger, former Sun staffer and, as it turns out, photographer. Woestendiek was fascinated by Window John, and sneakily took a bunch of photos of him in his window.
In short, Woestendiek went rogue.
Woestendiek had the photos printed and framed, and hung them at Idle Hour when the owners weren't around ...
As a practical joke, it went off without a hitch. Both owners walked in to see the previously bare walls covered with Window Guy art. While I was a little worried about how they might react to the unauthorized exhibit, both seemed to get a good laugh out of it.
The exhibit, "John: The Man in the Window," was equally stunning and frightening. Woestendiek said he sold enough photos to almost pay for the expenses. And, he's already planning a follow-up.
Other than knowing his first name, I intentionally didn’t research John's background, or talk to him, because the exhibit was more about mystery, speculations and assumptions than about the reality. But I’m thinking the reality — learning about the man behind the enigma — might make for a good sequel.
(Photo by John Woestendiek)