Landing in Provincetown

42 x 48. o/c 1970.
42 x 48. o/c 1970.  “Landing in Provincetown”


I have just sent an image to the Julie Heller Gallery in Provincetown Mass. It will be used in an article about an upcoming exhibition I will be having there this August. The image I sent is entitled ,”The Landing”.  It did not occur to me, until writing this post, that Provincetown is where the Pilgrims first landed before heading on to Plymouth. It is also where I landed in 1956 to be transformed from a factory worker into an artist.

I remember well a re-enactment of the Pilgrims landing in Provincetown back in 1957  when a replica of The Mayflower arrived in Provincetown from Plymouth, England. It was my first summer in Provincetown and I camped on the beach at High Head Rd Beach. One morning, I awoke and while drinking my tea I spied a sail on the horizon. Not unusual for the Cape, sailboats are all over the place. But this one looked odd. It slowly got closer and I realized it was from another time and place. It was news to me that the Mayflower was doing a re-enactment of the Pilgrim crossing. Unfortunately, the wind was against them and they could not make it around Race Point. The Coast Guard had to come around the point and tow them in. I went into town and watched them anchor at the west end of town near the Red Inn.

A group of town officials and a collector, who later became very supportive of my work, Walter Chrysler,  donning Pilgrim hats with shiny buckles and with black cloaks billowing around them, had rowed out to witness the signing of “the Mayflower Compact“. That document was to become the foundation of how things were to be run in this country. It could just be coincidental that I sent this image, but it could it also have come about by subconscious thought. I’ll never know.

Ship of Fools

DSCF2846Here is a recent work that came out of the blue, “Ship of Fools “.  Starting out on a small canvas, a boat shape started to appear. I was off and running with this theme. It is hardly a new theme but is a great place to revisit.

Sometimes it can seem like the world is populated with boat loads of fools. Although this painting is not aimed at anyone in particular, it does make me think of some current situations. Take the Tea Party for instance. This is the perfect metaphor for them. Aimlessly running around, often in circles with no positive direction and every one of them a leader wishing to go in a different direction. But it can really be applied to many different situations at the moment.

One is of the art world being pulled in many different directions, not sure which way is up. The super wealthy are using it as a business to make money by flipping art as if it were houses and creating a false market. But it has to be older, supposedly gilt edged art.

There are priceless works of art. Work that cannot be bought or replaced. Why the inflated prices today? It has become a commodity. Unlike oil,sugar, wheat and other products it makes the super rich feel close to the truth when they deal in art, which is what art is all about. But as the old saying goes. ” It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven” . But they will try every means necessary.

Gone are the days of wealthy collectors who prowled around artists studios looking for fresh work and bargains. All of the current multimillion dollar works were purchased by astute collectors like Walter Chrysler, Murchison, Jules Fleshmann, Hudson Walker and others who loved to poke around studios, rub up against the greats and enhance not only their collections but their lives. They could drop a couple of thousand and walk away with great art. We should encourage a new generation of collectors to go out there and explore the studios that are full of treasures.



Looking at old ink drawings.

IMG_0281Going through old ink drawings is a great experiance. Shapes and forms continue through my work. They morph into other identities but are constantly present. Here is one from the early seventies that has the dancing figure that I still use. The inverted U shape that comes out of a facination with a shape that Myron Stout used in his iconic black and white late works. The shape of a canvass within a canvass re-appears.