Friday, August 21, 2009

Byron Wilkes, Alien Autist, Has Passed Away

Byron Wilkes, a Florence-based artist and poet, has passed away. Sometimes known professionally as Alien Autist, Wilkes is responsible for much of the artwork adorning the music of the Fiddle Worms and Drive-By Truckers.

Some months before we began this blog, we discovered Wilkes' painting Hot-Rod Politique on an eBay auction. After debuting our effort in Blogger, we knew we wanted to use this wonderful work of satire in our theme, but had no idea who had created this iconoclastic masterpiece. After some months, a reader filled us in on Byron, and we became an avid fan, featuring him in our May 9, 2009, column. We understand that Byron was especially pleased that we chose his artwork to epitomize the Shoals area.

Byron was known to feature pyramids prominently in his work. Pictured is perhaps his second best-known work, The Three Great Alabama Icons. You can see more of Byron's art at his MySpace page.

We're sure that many of our readers will want to memorialize Byron in some manner. We will publish any information concerning arrangements as they become available, as well as any information on purchasing his artwork. All our sympathies to his family and friends.