197 Rick Wright, “P’s Butterfly Razor”


This is a story about the analog, process-oriented nature of making art. I met P (a recent immigrant from India) in a Project Basho class I teach called “Color and Composition.” What began as a rich teacher-student relationship quickly deepened into long-term friendship. Our near-weekly conversations in local Philly cafés centered on eastern philosophy, fables from India, analog devices, creative science, and visual esthetics. One Christmas, shortly after P moved to the West Coast, I received his gift of a Butterfly Safety Razor—an old-school, double-edged razor complete with brush, balm, shave cream, and oils. The slow multi-stage process of shaving in this classic way reminded me (oddly enough) of many of our deepest conversations—slowing down, paying attention, enjoying the tactile experience. I offer up this Butterfly Razor as a kind of talisman of our Teacher-Student synergy and process-oriented artistic activity.