Blackstock began drawing regularly in his mid-40s, cataloguing the world around him just as a botanist might classify plants in terms of families, species and genus, or an entomologist might arrange the various types of insects within his collection. The artist, who is autistic, has a prodigious memory for visual objects, musical tone and compositions, and foreign languages. As a “prodigious savant,” his need to make sense of and define an unpredictable world is given the most deeply satisfying outlet in his art.
For Blackstock, the world is made up of countless things which need to be identified, ordered, and arranged. One thing or another is seemingly of no greater weight but, once he decides to draw the chosen subject, he seeks to record all of the specific variations within that group.
Blackstock was born in Seattle in 1946. His first solo exhibition in Seattle was at Garde Rail Gallery in 2004. In 2011, the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland curated a solo exhibition of Blackstock’s work and holds 15 of his works in its permanent collection. Drawings by Blackstock are have been shown or are included in the collections of the several art museums around the USA, including Seattle Art Museum and Blanton Museum at University of Texas, Austin. He has has been featured at several art fairs, including the Outsider Fair, New York and Paris. Blackstock has just been awarded 2017 Wynn Newhouse Foundation award. The Wynn Foundation grants annual awards to an artist of exceptional merit with a disability. The artist currently lives in Seattle.