Veil of Light

Angel on Palm Sunday (1989). Oil on Canvas. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

It’s the light this time of year. Misty, maybe primeval, and full of foreboding. There is the sense that, as the mist settles, it is reborn in the new saplings that share its fragile tint. Or is that just the light this time of year, bepaling everything in its veil?

Things falling, things springing up; all in the fresh cool of the season’s mornings, and in the teals and sky blues that burst through the bogs. The light this time of year creates specters: rainbows that appear and vanish, clouds that descend into the pavements. Bad craziness, you think; foolishness, you say. You amble through the light as if it is all emptiness, just another void to disregard. Keep your head down, you say.

And then, out of the mist, through the new palm fronds, an angel rises…

Danny Grosso

Chicago Gothic VIII

13869C64-2A15-4632-B3D7-06D97A8A924DYou said once that you wished you could hush the city for good, and I think you and your dust have done it this time. But, your dust has affected the inhabitants as well, given them strange powers or robbed them of passion. They amble along, alone mostly, unable to remember what they’ve been destined to do…


From Chicago Gothic (2007). Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Mud People, No. 19

Mud People, No. 19 (2019). House paint on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Frost on the end of his nose. It was freezing out there. People walked by stiff-necked as if already done in by the weather. Zombies from the shoulders up. Eyes glazed, joints set in the cold. Hands in gloves in pockets.

There is little sound in extreme cold. The hush is punctuated by the percussion of hard soles on hard pavement. A thousand drumstick rim strikes.

He’s bundled up as best he can, and he’s keeping his eyelids low – he knows where he’s going, and he’s gonna get there fast. There’ll be that moment when he enters the Monodnock Building two blocks up when he has to stop in his tracks and shake the cold off for a second or two, and then he’ll warm himself by bounding up the stairs.

Envelope awaits. He will be done after this pickup, at least until tonight, but at least he can wait for that call at home, or in in some warm place where the coffee is hot and the frost is on the outside. For now he’s at an open corner next to a plaza with no shield from the wind, and the cold goes right through his leather and the three layers beneath, piercing the skin and burrowing in, releasing itself out his back, surprising him with its ruthlessness.

He is the product of a rough neighborhood, so this only reminds him that if someone really wants to get him, he can be gotten. His vulnerability is constant in a big, cold world. He puts his head down and gets moving.


-Danny Grosso