(Drawing by David Beck-Brown)
Faceless (a book in progress)
By David Beck-Brown
Faceless, (will be available for sale on this site) is a book written and rendered by David. It documents his experiences working with convicts as a contract artist employed through the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Christopher Boyce's study (along with scores of other convicts) will be included in the book Faceless. The book is the result of an experimental project I began in 1977 as a prison art instructor. My intention was to reinforce an inmate's ties with the "free world," a term referring to non-prison life. I photocopied each study and provided my subjects with a dozen or so copies. I encouraged them to write letters on the backs of the photocopies and mail them to people in the free world.
Chris approved the likeness of his portrait study. He was a complex subject and it took me three tries before capturing his spirit. Federal authorities put a stop to my project in 1982 and I left the prison.
However, for the past sixteen years, I have been coordinating an Arts in Corrections program at a California State prison through the California Department of Corrections. I am also on the Board of Directors of A New Path, serving as the Prison Reform Chairman. An example of my articles may be found in a computer search of my name through Google.
I have vowed to find a publisher for Faceless. In the 1970's, I solicited a positive written comment from Jane Fonda about Faceless.
I write about Chris in Faceless. Approximately one month before his escape, he joined me in a tour of the maximum security prison in Lompoc. I was conducting a follow up report on the effectiveness of the arts on my former students, several of whom had been transferred to the maximum security prison in Lompoc, California.
Chris had a touch for the theatrical. When I again saw him after his capture, he told me he and other former students begun rumors that I was a Hollywood filmmaker wanting to produce a movie about him.
I remember his attitude at the Metropolitan Correctional Center after his interview with an Australian government official. Chris was ironically amused how indignant the man became after hearing details of US covert activities in Austrian internal affairs. He said the government official got red in the face during the interview.
When I saw him in Lompoc, his laugh was less ironic. He showed me where an inmate was shot and killed against a security fence and took me to another location in an old cellblock where an inmate dropped a bucket of water from an upper tier, narrowly missing another inmate. He said the place was insane.
David Beck-Brown has worked with incarcerated prison inmates since 1977, at the City, County, State, and Federal levels, including the Federal Witness Protection Program.