Mr. Macklin

Michael Wilkinson

Plaster, paint, metal leaf

The lady who raised me, she always told me, you can be anything you want to be. I believed that. I started a successful business, but then I began to look at my life and I said to myself, isn’t there more than this? How many cars can he drive? How many shoes does he need? That’s when I found cocaine. I lost everything. I came across the bridge from Jersey in 1986- broke, angry… I got on the train one night, the A train… I’m not accustomed to falling asleep on the train, but I did that night, and about 2:30 in the morning a lady woke me up and said, ‘what in the world is a man like you doing asleep on the train?’ She gave me a ticket to the Mission, and a month later I showed up. I joined the program. And eventually I became the director here. The bank account’s not as big as it used to be, but I’m okay with that. It’s better to have a love of people than to have all the money in the world.

More on the artist at