By Ericka Kastner
From Pinball Wizard to Severe ReConstructivist
New Orleans-born Rocketman Jimmy Descant has art in his blood. His mother studied fine art at the local community college and sold oil paintings in the French Quarter during the 1950s. His father was a professional photographer who photographed then-Sen. John F. Kennedy in the 1960s and worked as a house photographer for NASA.
The Rocketman’s most recent show, “JFK as an Indian,” on display in Salida last November, looked back at this connection to his roots and combined his own family history with where Jimmy is today, alive and well and severely deconstructing found objects in the Colorado mountain West.
His mother, Pearl, saved his early art (including a drawing that showed the face of a man on the front of piece of paper and on the back, the back of his head) but it was all lost, along with other childhood memorabilia, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. Jimmy and his wife Penelope were overwhelmed by the destruction Katrina left behind and chose to salvage what little they could, a pickup truck’s worth of possessions, and move west.