Dec. 17, 2002 --
"Welcome to the wonderful world of gimpness!!" proclaims Dan Keplinger's website at http://users.erols.com/kinggimp/. Keplinger may be better known as King Gimp. The 39-minute documentary of that name, produced by Susan Hadary and Bill Whiteford, was a 2000 Academy Award winner. HBO will be re-airing "King Gimp" on January 1, 11, and 23.
Keplinger, a twentysomething Maryland artist with cerebral palsy, has had his work shown internationally. He is represented by the Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York City (http://www.phylliskindgallery.com/). "Art is what made my identity," says in an article on the website. "Art came from emotion very deep inside of me, saying what I had never said before, taking me in a new direction as far as I could go and then to a new place. With painting, I could express myself clearly without anybody interpreting for me. . . . The headstick is my only hand. Although it has no fingers and it's slow, it gets the paint on the canvas. The minute my headstick goes on, I don't hear other people in the room, everything is filtered out creating a state of purity possible only through art."
"Who says disabled people do not have any adventures?" he writes on his own website (http://users.erols.com/kinggimp/).
Links to stories appearing when "King Gimp" won the Academy Award can be found on the website of Towson University journalism professor Beth Haller at http://www.towson.edu/~bhalle/kinggimp.html.
Read the first part of Dan Keplinger's interview in Ability magazine at http://abilitymagazine.com/kinggimp_interview.html
The documentary is available for purchase through the University of Maryland's Video Press at http://www.videopress.org/home.html