Life on leather, after 'castration'


"Another View'' (dye on carved and tooled leather), by WINFRED REMBERT, in his show at Adelson Galleries, Boston, through April 26.

The New Haven artist learned how to hand-tool leather in prison, where he had been sent for car theft. He grew up working in Georgia cotton fields.

He's quite a storyteller, with his mouth and by his pictures on leather.

“Another time, when I was living in Cuthbert, Ga., a sit-in got out of hand. The police came, and I ran. There was a car with the keys in it, and I took it. They got me for car theft, and I went to prison. I escaped after one year, but it wasn’t planned. I flooded the toilet [in the cell], and the deputy sheriff beat me and got out his gun. He was going to shoot me, so I took his gun and locked him in my cell. I went to a Civil Rights house for help, but they called the police. A hundred people came after me and hung me up by the feet. They castrated me, and I could have bled to death. They didn’t really castrate me though, because I have eight children now!''