Kenneth Calvin "K.C." White never reads the Wall Street Journal. So it's funny that last Friday his photo made it to the paper's front page and website. That's K.C. on the left, holding a portrait he drew of convicted Wall St. shyster Bernie Madoff. The photo was taken by my Daily News colleague Sarah Glover and re-printed by the Journal.
People Paper readers might remember K.C. from a column I wrote about him in September, just after he was released from Butner Federal Correctional Complex, in Butner, N.C., where he did time for bank robbery and attempted bank robbery in Philly.
K.C., a self-taught artist, was a celebrity at Butner. His murals colored-up the drab walls all over the prison - the gym, dental clinic, cafeteria, even an administrator's office. He also sketched portraits of fellow inmates and perfected the art of drawing reproductions from photographs. His graphite renderings of Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King and Tupac Shakur are shaded so precisely, some look like digital prints.
K.C. was a month from release when he met Madoff, who was shipped to Butner to serve a 150-year sentence for ripping off investors. The two men, K.C. recalls, were standing in a medicine line when Madoff asked K.C. to sketch his portrait.