The story of ‘2 Quarter George,’ New Orleans draughtsman A life in lines

Author’s note: George ‘2 Quarter George’ Jena—aka Geo an outsider artist and native of New Orleans. Jena’s exquisite skill as a draughtsman has brought his drawings a fair amount of interest from New Orleans locals and artists. Inspired by George’s line-play I have attempted to write about the artist and his drawings in composed lines, with the hope that by accretion they will meld into an organic story, much like his drawings. The pulsating forms he creates make one aware that life itself is actively present in the space.

“I’m trying to get myself into a Zen state—totally concerned with doing the line—and just forget the intrusive thoughts or the obsessive thoughts, and concentrate on the line,” George says.

He’s housing-secure right now, but lived on the streets, in parks, and missions when he was boozing it up.

“Picasso, Leonardo, all really great draughtsmen are masters of line,” George says. “I’ve read a lot about Leonardo; he was enigmatic and secretive.”

He thinks COVID-19 is going to be much worse than it is, and will cause a lot of anger, but thoughts of contamination do not influence his work.

“I love line and shading,” George says.

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