With Different Eyes began as as a series of newspaper stories in the late winter of 2020 when the coronavirus began to spread. The author Paul Smart, a veteran Hudson Valley journalist of 30-plus years, reported on the unfolding pandemic. A temporary lockdown, New York on Pause, workers sent home. Schools closed & playgrounds taped off. Vicious politics and then George Floyd was murdered. Protests spread, met by an increasingly belligerent institutional response. Violence spiraled as Trump doubled down on his bid for reelection. Through it all, Smart looks deep into his own bereavement for recently-passed parents, even as the lockdown seemed to offer refuge as well as the hope for real change—an epochal forbearance. In turn, Richard Kroehling, filmmaker, installation artist, and the co-maker of With Different Eyes, started painting, playing with images. He dove into his own stew of loss, regret, and undiminished hopes, even as the national angst deepened his visual take. He shared his evolving imagescape with his longtime friend, who was simultaneously sharing his blog entries. Thus this book arose out of friendship, which proves the glue that makes this work cohere in spite of all.
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About the Author
Paul Smart worked as a community journalist in the Catskills and Hudson Valley regions of the United States for 30-plus years. He has authored several books, started a couple of radio stations, and is now living in Guanajuato, Mexico. Richard Kroehling is a multidisciplinary artist, painter, and film director. Kroehling’s film work includes dramatic features, non-fiction, video art, poetry, and installation art. Richard’s works have been exhibited at film festivals, art museums, and galleries around the world.