Christopher Goodwin first came to prominence on a cold January day in 1970 (really, though, it wasn’t all that cold; it got up to 39° that day and I can certainly recall waiting miserably for the school bus on much colder days … you know, Dayton had many harsh winters; but I digress) when, emerging pinkly from the womb, he became the sole child of David G.G. and Charolett A.B of Dayton, Ohio. ¶Goodwin’s artistic talent was apparent (even if not yet recognized as such) when, only several hours old, he threw up on Charolett's hospital gown, plangently anticipating the performance artists who would not gain notoriety until well into the Reagan era. ¶At age seven, Goodwin displayed a willingness to confront traditional notions of propriety (and fire safety) when he put flame to the living-room carpeting, at once challenging parental authority and boldly rejecting the muddy-green and dulled-gold color scheme that obtained in the heavily curtained room. He was emphatically spanked by his father, because that's what folks did back then. (It should be noted that fire damage was minimal.) ¶On a hazy July day in 1981, those who cared to nose around the neighborhood could find Goodwin, who was no doubt wearing some terrible outfit from JC Penney’s “Husky” rack, breaking empty beer and pop bottles against the practice wall at a nearby school[1]. The resulting pile of shards and bits of glass was — until swept up by the aggrieved janitor — a cutting rebuke to the woefully inadequate arts-education funding in the public schools. ¶In 1987, Goodwin decided ꟷ somewhat rashly, many argued ꟷ to drop out of high school, gas up his hooptie VW Beetle, and head east. With little money but much trepidation, he left Dayton with a view to joining the Washington, DC, art scene, which at the time was led by conceptual artist and U.S. senator, Jesse Helms, who is really very dead now. Goodwin soon enrolled at the Corcoran School of Art. After several months there, he concluded that an extended (and ongoing) leave of absence was in order. ¶The year 2020 finds Goodwin living and painting in Durham, North Carolina, where he enjoys interrogating his cats, crashing homeowner association meetings in distant subdivisons, hugging his wife when she comes home from work, and keeping his eyes peeled.

 

[1] This hinted at his emerging iconoclasm, or so he likes to tell himself. It also led to a halfhearted spanking from his mother, a pacific woman who, nevertheless, voted for Nixon. Twice.

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