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The images are those that are schematic-- not presented in minute and immediate detail-- but generic, yet specific enough to communicate a feeling of empathy and recognition. "I know how it was".

Benny Andrews expresses in words and in his art the essence of his memories of the South.  Citing the mule as a "subjective correlative", to borrow the words of Stephen Henderson, Andrews describes why the mule image is important to his Southland Series, by saying that it emerged from recollections and from drawings of mules and thinking about mules.  He writes:

For the next few months I was obsessed with the mule. The more I worked, researched and talked to others, the more I realized that the mule was more than a mere animal: it was a symbol of people and their land.  It was a symbol of the South.

Here Andrews invokes an image that is nearly universally linked to the South as we often remember it.  The painting, Coming Storm (1987), which was reproduced in the April 1988 issue of American Visions is an icon of the Southern mind. The image of a farmer and his mule cast against a colorful but threatening sky.
While in his Southland Series, Andrews has used the mules as a recurring symbol, in his works that were featured in his book Between the Lines (1793) and other drawings and painting that date back more that two decades, many other references and memories of the South can be seen.  Consider for instance just the titles of works such as Cotton Fields (1975), Down These Mean Roads (1971) and Georgian Funeral (1965).  In a word, Benny Andres went Up South, but he remained Down Home.