Film, Video Advertising, and Photography work by Brett Marty.
JOHN, THE ARTIST
JOHN, THE ARTIST // Flint, Michigan
“I drank the water before we found out it was fucked up,” John says. “We got a letter that said it may look and smell weird, but it’s safe to drink.”
The tiny waiting area in the front room of Consolidated Tattoo is packed – with about five people. John sits in his chair, steadily working on a client’s left arm. The owner of that arm chimes in on the conversation occasionally, as does John’s co-owner, prepping a second chair in back.
In his late 20s, John’s never voted and doesn’t think his parents have, either. But, his girlfriend was (and is) a big Bernie supporter.
He’s not following the election but says Trump was in town last week, at a local Black church. “He started getting political and got shut down” by the female minister, he laughs.
The conversation turns back to Flint’s poisoned water. “It looked fine,” John’s partner says. “But it smelled like dirt, like this strong soil smell.”
“Nobody’s ever given us water, anything. Had to go out and buy our own filters,” John laughs, shaking his head in disbelief.