DeShawn Days

By Washington Post

The voyage of Tony Medina’s 10-year-old hero doesn’t strain under artificial invention. DeShawn’s great travels are both inward and around the ‘hood. Medina’s words are typeset to resemble verse, thus giving the colorful, rich inner-city urban universe of little DeShawn a deserved dignity and an artistic distance. This world, the paintings seem to say – the verse, the fine design, this world of “my house,” “my grandmother,” “my block” – deserves to be observed freshly, minutely and with love, and to be memorialized.The colors yell, the lines run from thin curlicues to broad, emphatic declamations. R. Gregory Christie has painted DeShawn’s world with a raucous Expressionist exuberance befitting the vivid life of this spirited kid.