In such a cool culture and time, in such an anti-intellectual country, what made us believe in our emotional statements as significant? While our subjects vary widely from a poignant and mournful library, to the "divided self" we share a belief in emotion, whether the poignancy in your oeuvre, or the abstract toughness in mine. We both look hard and interpret with both joy and anxiety. We both revel in color, gesture and image, whether abstract or figurative, whether responding to the syncopation of music, a transcendental atmosphere or wild birdcalls. Did Jackson Pollock's response to you, Stella, that he thought of the sky when he painted strike a chord and gave you courage to be a poet of visual culture? I never asked what you thought of Stella because my mind drifts as I paint, ranging from insecurity and tension to calm philosophical musings. Did you think of Billy? Tony Fruscella? Or just furiously work with the medium against the clock?
Your seriousness Stella inspired me and made me feel secure in my own postmodern expressionism. It helped me continue to be soulful-not intimidated by the current fashion. I was glad to commune with a philosophy that was greater than we both were. Not make art about the small situation, the unimportant attribute. I know we both look for varying tenors of the visceral. I know we don't paint with ease. Yet I want the painting to read as an organic object that looks as if an idiosyncratic God were responsible for its existence. I'm not interested in prowess or gamesmanship. I want the painting to look furiously willed into being. Struggle remains. I don't like the superficially accomplished. I'm not impressed with most technique. I hate works that illustrate. I want to reveal what it is to be sensate. Is there no room for my "earnest relentlessness"? No room for a Clyfford Still today?
Will I have your resiliency? You were somewhat bitter. Are your ghosts still somewhat bitter? Your work proves that you deserve more renown and acknowledgment. As a young artist I yearned to achieve recognition from external sources because I needed the affirmation that I could not easily give myself. I often felt despair and alienation from the powers of the art world and from the hipper artists of the scene. Today I've overcome that yearning and feel at my best when I paint and create. Today I'm productive.