Does Wreck of the UPS’s ghost have any advice for us artists still here and still under recognized, still serious, ambitious and disappointed as you were? I can only imagine how Wreck’s ghost feels at the work’s early lack of recognition. Daily, it is hard to come to terms with one’s exclusion, wondering why you have not yet stopped working because of your relative lack of success when in the studio and nightly when sipping a glass of wine mulling over your lack of sales, collections and exhibitions appropriate for your level of achievement. Are the relationships among artists rooted in competition as well as support? Is competition necessary for tough creation and thought? Is competition necessary for support among artists? Do the older and middle generations of artists resent the young, and is this resentment grounded in the tradition of the avant-garde artist replacing the previous school and de-sanctifying the establishment? Stella, I for one do not believe that styles become completely obsolete–that is why I have deeply appreciated Miriam Beerman’s mastery of expressionism or your Ab Ex libraries. I did not think expressionism or Ab Ex were consigned to history. I do not think that we all have to be postmodernists.
I pull beauty out of pain as you did. Haven’t we all Stella? Haven’t we all Miriam? Introspection and pain prompt and propel us to create. In spite of this, I’m still working. I’m still working, although I am an under-known, still-emerging artist in the early years of old age. My hair is gray and my chin is no longer firm. I’m not yet a spirit or ghost though I sometimes feel like one. Childless, my art is my biology. Our biologies. Our bodies and minds. But Stella, I wanted you to be aware whom my artist friends are I now have a dialogue with about our work. I queried them about their inspirations knowing that your work inspired me as does Miriam Beerman’s. I asked if they had an artist from the last century who spoke to them as you speak to me. We are all still working, although we are under-known artists many whom are, like I am, old. We are not yet spirits or ghosts. Our inspirations are the biology of 20th century culture. The biology of history. The biology of the future. We are all still working. Though we often feel like spirits or ghosts. Our body of works are our children. They are our biology. Our materials are striations of thought. And they are also human. Our materials are thought made physical. Emotive and also palpitating.
Art is our natural world. Our own painting as well as the art we individually embrace and make part of our own being. In our studios we walk through the image. We breathe in the color. It fills our lungs and our veins, pulsating through our system. We each revel in our chosen medium. “It can be ugly. It can be decorative and pretty. It can be shy. It can be bold.” Our mediums are our words. Painting seriously and communing with tough art is as profound as a religious experience that for me cuts across denominations, races and maybe even nations. It is my escape from trivia. I believe serious art to be solely about the big poetic and philosophical issues of life now.
Thank you, Stella Waitzkin. Thank you, Miriam Beerman. Thank you, Willem de Kooning. Thank you, Clyfford Still. Thank you, Hans Hofmann. Thank you, Meret Oppenheim. Thank you, Joan Mitchell. Thank you, Lee Godie. Thank you, Chaim Soutine. Thank you, Jackson Pollock. Thank you, Amedeo Modigliani. Thank you, Claire Moore. Thank you, Eva Hesse. Thank you, Emilio Cruz. Thank you, Georgia O’Keeffe. Thank you, Bessie Harvey. Thank you, Elaine de Kooning. Thank you, Bill Traylor. Thank you, William Hawkins. Thank you, Hawkins Bolden. Thank you, Reuben Kadish. Thank you, Hans Hartung. Thank you, Ornette Coleman. Thank you, Louise Bourgeois. Thank you, Walter Anderson. Thank you, Anonymous artists. Thank you, Paul Cezanne. Thank you, Kazimir Malevich. Thank you, El Lissitsky. Thank you, Vasily Kandinsky.