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Richard Upton Pickman was a painter who lived and worked in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1920s. Pickman was known for his ability to produce works of shockingly graphic realism blending scenes of everyday life with stunning horror. Pickman's artwork caused uproar amongst art critics and polite society, ultimately leading to his isolation from the orthodox world. His work was often condemned as sensationalist, morbid, Gothic and grotesque despite its superbly crafted superrealism and disturbing narrative content. Amongst Pickman's better known works are 'The Lesson', 'Subway Accident', 'Ghoul Feeding', and 'Holmes, Lowell, and Longfellow Lie Buried in Mount Auburn'.

At the time of his isolation from the world Pickman had moved away from his conventional artists studio to a secluded basement workshop. One of Pickman's last friends reported that Pickman claimed to produce his paintings from live subjects and that in many cases they were (un)life studies. It was eventually discovered that Pickman's basement studio contained a well from which cannibal ghouls would come up from the depths of the Earth to pose for Pickman to photograph them. These photographs were used to provide subject material for Pickman's paintings.

One of the most disturbing of Pickman's paintings, 'The Lesson' is reputed to be autobiographical in nature. It depicts a child being taught to eat human flesh by a family of ghouls. Pickman hinted that ghouls leave their offspring to be raised amongst humans until they are of an age to rejoin ghoul society. The changeling child in 'The Lesson' bears a strong and chilling resemblance to the last remaining photograph of the young Richard Pickman.

Richard Upton Pickman disappeared in the 1920s. He left behind a legacy of horrific Gothic artwork and a number of unanswered questions as to the true nature of the world in which we live. He returned to the surface world in 2006 to enjoy the delights of Malton and is now aiding the babah zambahs of DALI.