Atlanta: Meet 'Vic Champignole' on Saturday

Photo Credit: Bob Butler, “The Height of Renown,” 2010.

On Saturday, April 24th, my good friend and the very talented visual artist, Bob Butler, will be exhibiting The Tear-Imbued Handkerchief of Vic Champignole at Butler’s Twin Kittens studio in the Westside of Atlanta. Tear-Imbued … is a collaborative effort between Butler and fellow Aussie Kris Allison that marries words and images in a tale about ambition, family and loss. In addition to the visual experience being offered on Saturday, Tear-Imbued … will be available as a 40-page fine art book, which I can’t wait to get my hands on. 

I stopped by Twin Kittens a few days ago and can say without hesitation that the combination of Butler’s conceptual photography and Allison’s words is truly striking. Here’s more information about the exhibition from Jeff Guy, TK’s Gallery Director:

The Tear-Imbued Handkerchief of Vic Champignole was written in 2004 by Kris Allison. The story follows a narrator’s relationship with Vic Champignole’s fall from fame, a renowned landscape designer careening into madness. The narrator witnesses his own father, an inventor, struggling to cope with what life has dealt him and what his personal ambitions have been. In many ways, his father and Vic share this common conflict while they investigate it in contrasting ways. We see Vic delve into the chaos that nature seems to possess while the narrator and you, the reader, look in much like a Greek chorus in ancient tragedies.

When asked what compelled the artist about the story, Bob shared, ‘There is a contrast between the father and Vic in their reaction to this chaos overall but as you tune in closer to these characters, you see that they are the same in many ways. They are almost like opposites within the same genre. The objective of the photographs is not to answer or resolve the story, but is to give the reader/viewer various threads to consider and contemplate the themes further in their own ways. Much of the mystery and questions of the story are left untouched with the images, the images are there to provide a visual medium that encourages further thought.’

In the gallery, 9 photographs explore ‘behind the scenes or between the lines’ conceptual moments from the story and serve to further flesh out the narrative, rather than disclose the stories deeper ideas or simply illustrate key moments. The large photographs present Vic Champignole’s strange obsession and study with chaos, foliage, dirt and vegetation. Among the 9 images are stations for reading and following along in the text to see how the two correlate.”

The exhibition is available for schedule viewings between now and May 11th by contacting Jeff Guy at or 404.803.4316. Saturday’s event is the Artist Reception, which runs from 7-10PM, followed by Sunday’s Artist’s Talk and Q&A with Butler at 2PM. Make an effort to see The Tear-Imbued Handkerchief of Vic Champignole. You won’t be disappointed.

For fun, Butler and Allison at the former’s June 2009 wedding: