March, 2018: Since moving to Miami year-round in 2013, I have begun making portraits of people in the Miami arts communities. New portraits in progress include Lourdes Lopez (artistic director of Miami City Ballet), Billy Corben (director of "Cocaine Cowboys"), Jim Morin (Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist), Robert Battle (artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Michelle Oka Doner (artist), Kobi Karp (architect), Craig Robins (Design District developer), Franklin Sirmans (director of the Perez Art Museum Miami), Terrence Riley (architect, curator, museum director), and many more.
I arrived in Provincetown in 1970, when I was twenty-five, welcomed by older artists and writers, many of whom became my friends. Over the years, in addition to making art and exhibiting on the Outer Cape and elsewhere, I have served as a Trustee and Officer of the Provincetown Art Association & Museum, as President of the Provincetown Group Gallery, as board member of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, and as Co-founder/ Publisher / Editor of Provincetown Arts magazine.
Robert Motherwell often said that he chose to live and work in Provincetown because of the “Mediterranean light,” and because of the easy camaraderie amongst the art community. B.H. Friedman wrote, “In Provincetown everything happens in the streets and on sidewalks. In the Hamptons there are no sidewalks. Everything happens behind tall hedges.”
In 1989, after a half-lifetime of making only abstract art, I started making paintings portraying the art colony at leisure – what people do when they are not working – documenting the fabric of life in the art colony that draws people back every year.
The first painting in this series portrayed E.J. Kahn, Jr. (veteran New Yorker writer) and Palmer Williams (Executive Producer of Sixty Minutes) playing backgammon outdoors on the edge of the National Seashore – in positions reminiscent of Cezanne’s “The Card Players.” The painting is 6 x 5 feet.
Since then I have made over 160 paintings in this series of notable talents such as Norman Mailer, Robert Motherwell, Stanley Kunitz, Alan Dugan, Douglas Heubler, Justin Kaplan, Joel Meyerowitz, Annie Dillard, Mark Strand, Sebastian Junger, Alec Wilkinson, Varujan Boghosian, Budd Hopkins, Paul Resika, Mischa Richter, Al Jaffee, Lee Falk, Anne Bernays, Jane Leavy, Daniel Okrent, Alice Brock, Susan Orlean, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robert Pinsky, Knox Martin. The dimensions of most pieces are either 60 x 43 inches or 40 x 30 inches.
I envision continuing this series for the rest of my days, thereby creating a unique documentation of life in one of the world’s most interesting art colonies.