ByRebecca Raymer, writer at
I am a writer and director. #WomenInFilm #WomenDirect
Rebecca Raymer

I learned about the art of Norman Reedus a couple of weeks ago, when I saw images on his Instagram account alluding to a show in New York City. The photo above is captioned "Thank u to everyone that came;" I'm assuming it refers to said art show.

Reedus is most well-known for his role as Daryl Dixon from the television phenomenon that is The Walking Dead (AMC). His character on the show has evolved from a generic redneck into a deeply feeling person. Daryl Dixon's air of mystery, southern accent, winged leather vest, and carefully disheveled hair have contributed to an international swooning.

But who is Norman Reedus, the actual human being behind the fictional character? I personally believe actors (good actors, at least) bring parts of themselves into each role they play. I would find it very difficult to believe that Norman Reedus is not a highly sensitive and intuitive person, given his portrayal of Daryl Dixon.

It's summertime, though, and there are no new episodes of The Walking Dead for me to analyze. I was intrigued when I found the information on Instagram about an art exhibit in New York City.

Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in Manhattan opened a show called 9 Lives that included work by Norman Reedus. The pieces featured in the show were large photos mounted on metal, and a sculptural collaboration with another artist. The images in Reedus' work are dark, and creepy, and remind me of when I was little and would watch old Hitchcock movies my mom (quite sadistically, actually) rented from Blockbuster Video for my younger siblings and I to lose our minds to on Saturday nights.

@bigbaldhead, Instagram
@bigbaldhead, Instagram

Looking for more, I went to the website featuring Reedus' production company, Big Bald Head. There I found additional images, also haunting and disturbing, but with a variety of playfulness and innocence sprinkled throughout. Reedus has published a book of his photos; it is called "The Sun's Coming Up...Like a Big Bald Head."

Photographs by Norman Reedus
Photographs by Norman Reedus

The photos I've seen online give me a little more material to shape whom I believe might be the human being, Norman Reedus. I'm going to have to meet him, though, in person, and ask him questions about his art and himself, in order to find more of who he is. Even then, I don't know if I could uncover any huge amount of information: he really seems like a perplexingly mysterious guy.

But it would be a hell of a lot of fun trying anyway.


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