Re:Recyled ( Laid to rest )

RecyceledRecycle, 58 x 42, 1990, C1, ID 885

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of old worn out brushes either from over use or neglect. While being a full time father of my daughter Liza, I often had to stop in the middle of painting and dash off to pick her up or take her to school. I would drop my brushes meaning to get back and clean them later.

Later often time never came due to problems.

So these brushes would become stiff and unusable. However, I could never throw them out as they were colorful objects. So, I saved them later to turn them into art. It was like having an old horse , you put them out to pasture after all the hard work they had done.  I also kept old paint tubes. In this work I have harnessed both   Cutting out shapes from the flattened tubes, I was able to open the shapes and have a pure red or yellow to lay alongside the roughed up brushes. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to recycle stuff this way.There are so many things that get thrown away that with a little imagination can be turned into art.

Arte Povera came about this way. I met Marcel Duchamp once.  I did some art moving jobs for Virginia Zabriskie  back in the sixties. I delivered a package to him at an old elegant brownstone on W 11 Street. He sat in a wingback chair in the front room and on a small table next to him was a sculpture of a hand with a chess piece. I was not aware at the time that he was an important artist.  I had seen a piece of his in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a huge work with cracked glass and I was aware of his “Nude Descending the Staircase”, so I should have known better. We exchanged pleasantries and I left . I regret not mentioning the work I had seen in Philadelphia or just talking to him more.  I missed a good opportunity.

Execution American Style


"Execution American Style." 65 x 90. 1999
“Execution American Style.” 65 x 90. 1999


I have just read that Texas will execute a woman today,Suzanne Basso, for the murder of a man fifteen years ago.

In 1999,fifteen years ago, I did a 65″ x 90″ painting on the subject of execution called “Execution American Style “

I am not for the death penalty.

A year or so before I left England in 1954 a man was hanged for the murder of his wife. They hung an innocent man . A mass murderer who gave witness at the trial of the innocent man was later caught. He was caught on Putney Bridge in London. How often has an innocent person died for another’s crime ? Many times, I think. After this the British government did away with the death penalty. The US also did away with it , but then reinstated it.

Reading of these executions in the N Y Times  I began clipping and saving the articles. One day I realized I had a huge pile of them. The last one I read had been a cock up in the electric chair. Something had gone wrong and the guys hair caught fire before he died. It’s odd in this country that considers it’s self very religious that many Christians who follow Christ’s teaching ignore the fact he would never think of putting someone to death . There are other religions that go along with executing people. It is so final. So many innocent people have been executed. So how does something like this continue to take place? I really don’t know.

A picture being worth a thousand words may convince that it is wrong.

Meditating Bather

BathersMy work seems to go in circles.

Here is a work that touches base with the figure. I never quite know what is going to come out when I work on a new canvas and am always looking for a surprise. If tomorrow I do something more abstract there will be something in it that I have learned from the bathers painting. And so it goes – applying different approaches  to the next shift.