Special thanks to my husband Andrew Madrid, my parents Peter and Lois Mayerson, my sister Chaya Rivka Mayerson, Lois Plehn, Marlborough Chelsea, Grace Pak, Tom Powel, Brett Shaheen, Derek Eller, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, and all the dealers, curators, collectors, friends, family, artists and museums that have made all of this possible and who are my guiding lights! And thank you to the souls of the people who inspired this exhibition for making our America great!
First Printing, November 2015 www.thegracepak.com www.tompowelimaging.com
Keith Mayerson My American Dream Design by Grace Pak and Keith Mayerson Photography by Tom Powel Imaging
October 30 - December 23, 2015 Marlborough Chelsea 545 W 25th Street, New York, NY 10001
Table of Contents 6 Notes by the Artist 11 My American Dream 41 Prologue 79 Rogues Wall 133 Cosmology 457 Index & Notes 545 Artist Resume
My American Dream notes by the artist Keith Mayerson
worked on the layout, thinking about the narrative and visual flow, the relationships between the works and the way the viewer might navigate through the composition and come to their own conclusions of what ultimately of what could “My American Dream” could mean for the Twenty First Century. Also inspired by the non-linear, American narrative and instrumental compositions of Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys Pet Sounds and Smile, the full large cosmology is a pop opera of paintings, that now will fully grace Marlborough Chelsea’s galleries, with this fully illustrated catalog. The first two rooms serve as the narrative’s prelude, with mostly new work (and with trompe l’oeil renditions of my parents “rogues wall” of framed photos of family ancestry assimilating in America), beckoning into the decade+ cosmology of the main gallery.
I am thrilled that Marlborough Chelsea has now given me the opportunity to exhibit the full large cosmology of My American Dream in their galleries, and it is our sincere hope, in the spirit of The Eight, Thomas Hart Benton, Diego Rivera, Rosenquists’ F-111, that this populist exhibition-that is about the power and individuality of America and its respect for civil rights--will engage and inspire folks about what can be meaningful and important to promote a better future for our country. My American Dream represents a decade of creating this body of work, from the last five years of having painted from images I take myself of my own life of my own family and world (loving John and Yoko, postBeatles, when they wrote and sung about their own lives and it was powerful and emotional enough to relate to others), after a long (I’ve been exhibiting for twenty years now!) career of appropriation (The Beatles I feel were the first postmodern band in that they would speak through avatars-they weren’t the Beatles, they were Sgt. Pepper,” it wasn’t them who were lonely, it was Eleanor Rigby!”) and abstraction (music without the lyrics, but for me also harnessing emotion and the unconscious in iconic form). Since 2005, I’ve been building and exhibiting the body of work that has become My American Dream, and fortunately Stuart Comer saw the latest “chapter” of the work in 2013 when it was on exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery in New York when he was curating his section of the latest Whitney Biennial. He and I have known one another since our early days in Los Angeles, and as a follower of my work, knew that I had success in the past with my salon-style installations, and allowed me to “go for it” with my Biennial salon, exhibited successfully in Spring 2013. He curated from the large cosmology of works I presented (which is also the genesis of the new exhibition) then I edited from that and so on. Stuart had some terrific ideas for works that were outside the box of the American-only parameters I had been initially thinking of, I also added some suggestions. As soon as I found out how much space I had for the Whitney, I
The super salon of My American Dream (at the Whitney, there were 42 paintings that are literally floor to ceiling on two walls in the show, and for the large cosmology there are over 133 paintings) is also like a giant comic composition, in that it tells a non-linear narrative. Of course, I also want to relate to the history of how we used to see figurative works in salon-style hangings in museums which also harkens to
Whitney Museum, Breaking Ground salon installation, 2011
Keith Mayerson, My American Dream, Whitney Biennial 2014, 2014, Whitney Musuem of American Art, New York
the 19c convention of salon style hanging (specifically for the Whitney, for it was the last incarnation of the Biennial in the famous Marcel Breuer building, and how in the very near future, the Met is taking over the building).
them (which will hopefully also allow each painting to be appreciated as a single work, in addition to how they connect to the others). But as I grew up with salon-style posters on my wall to give me hope, and still live in an apartment with salon-style hangings of my work and others, salon-style installations have long been an inspiration. In the main gallery is the My American Dream Cosmology with an Act One, Act Two, Act Three, and the Finale (inspired directly by Michelangelo’s Last Judgment). I also think this can be an excellent way to create comic compositions, that have perhaps more of a freedom, in a “vertical” reading, of how the viewer’s eyes may flow from one image to another to create meaning. This is one of the biggest “inventions” I hope that I’ve accomplished in the installation (and have done many super salons in the past), as the museum didn’t understand at first how these weren’t just paintings on a wall, but like I teach in my comics classes at the School of Visual Arts (where I have taught comics for over 20 years), specifically designed in their spacing and arrangement, like a maze or waterworks, to guide the viewer through the story, no matter what direction they begin.
Metropolitan Museum Salon, American Wing
I have created “horizontal” installations that have paintings one next to another with space in between, still telling stories, but in a more 20th Century format. At Marlborough Chelsea, for the first two galleries, new works are installed in this manner as a “Prologue” with single paintings (and the smaller salons hung on walls with large white space around
Pictures of Superman, Spiderman, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and more are iconic characters that, like Scott McCloud discusses in his canonical text Understanding Comics, we “suture into” while reading and watching them, having them become our avatars like in a rpg video game as we go on their journey. Lincoln, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Martin
that incorporated politics, emotion, and incredible formal beauty to create an image that was so transcendent that it not only was about the specific event, but became such a powerful symbol that when Colin Powell was making the argument for us to go to war in Iraq, they had to cover over the tapestry version of the painting at the United Nations. I hope that My American Dream is like a “gay Guernica,” but in a good, positive way, showing that gay marriage and samesex relationships are as important as any civil right, and part now of the “American Way,” in the trajectory of important civil rights movements, leaders, and scenes of a progressive America where equality and freedom are celebrated. I teach a class on Anime and Manga at SVA, which we read a text by Susan Napier, which discusses three modes found in much great Japanese animation and comics, which I find an affinity for in my own work and these exhibitions, much of which involved American themes: Elegy (“yearning for a past that maybe never was/a deep rooted nostalgia/the poetry of the sadness of things”), Apocalypse (obvious to Japan with WWII, but also their economic depression in the 90’s, also could mean personal apocalypse, and/or merely the changing of things), and Festival Mode (Bakhtin’s notion of the Carnivalesque, and/or throwing things in the air to look at them anew)... My American Dream contains these modes, looking at the past for what America may have meant for the 20th Century, to also postulate a (hopefully ultimately optimistic?!) view for America’s future.... This exhibition to be a testament to our cultural, political, and civil progress in the hope to posit great models of where we have been and where we can progress for our own nation (and my and my family’s own personal place within it)...
Guernica, Calder’s mobile in front, Photograph by Hugo Herdeg
Luther King and Rosa Parks are also for me icons that really lived that we can also suture into and relate to, for me also while painting to give me hope and inspiration, but also for the viewers, to remind them that what they stood and struggled for is still all-important. Like in a comic, when the viewer is participant in the creation of the ultimate content of the work when they, in an act McCloud deems “closure,” complete the action of one panel to the next in their mind to go on the journey along with the iconic avatars of a comic story, I hope that the viewer, like myself, can relate to these important figures and scenes that helped to forge the great America we currently live on thanks in part to some of these icons, and to inspire people to continue the struggle to my make our country better place for truth, freedom, justice and the American way.... Inspiration
Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry Murals, 1932-33, Detroit Institute of the Arts
“My American Dream” was inspired by Picasso’s Guernica, which originally appeared at the Spanish Pavilion as part of the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. Responding to the recent bombing of the Spanish town by German bombers, in allegiance with Franco, which murdered women and children in addition to the Spanish rebels the fascists were trying to suppress (and send a message to), Picasso changed his original plans on making a more personal mural to create his masterpiece, that subsequently traveled around the world, bringing attention to the Spanish Civil War and its cause. Not wanting it to reside in fascist-controlled Spain, the painting spent many years in its temporary home at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it became a symbol of the horrors of war in general, and man’s inhumanity to man, before it traveled back to Madrid to the Prado, and now at its final resting home at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. I admire how this was a sublime mural display for the public, in a “group show” by a Miró and in front of a Calder sculpture, 8
James Rosenquist, F-111, 1964-65, Museum of Modern Art, New York
you see a Da Vinci painting (or a Van Gogh, or many of the Old Masters) you perceive all the elements working in concert together--from small to large, from the golden ratio of the veins of the leaves of the flowers, to the flowers, to the flowers in the meadow, to the meadow of the sky, and so on, that reactivates how you perceive them in your mind, much like when you are a child, before you learn how to process everything and “filter” what you see as you get to know what things are in language--where everything seems alive. My secret for the sublime is “micro managing to the macro managed whole,” which is what these painters accomplished, and when putting one element of a painting next to another in a mural, especially the scale of the Last Judgment or any of these works, it can lend itself to a universe of ever-expanding information that can be wonderfully overwhelming, and given the subject matter, truly sublime. What I hope to achieve in “My American Dream” is this effect, with over ten years of painting, micro-managing to the macro-managed whole, in a landscape of paintings, one next to another creating greater meaning, in a thematic that is so meaningful to me, about what it means to live in this great country with all of its history, that hopefully it can have a sublime affect upon the viewer and make them regard themselves a part of a larger whole of a nation that is a part of the world to make it a better place.
I love the WPA murals, and the murals of Thomas Hart Benton, Diego Rivera, and of course, James Rosenquist’s fantastic F-111. All of them were making “art for the people” with this immersive works, telling stories of politics and the personal, with juxtapositions that made the viewer think and postulate their own place within the world, from the American narratives of Benton, to the Marxist politics of Rivera, and the more avant-garde and pop juxtapositions of Rosenquist, who could appropriate and have fun while also visualizing the underlying super serious themes of war during the time of disillusionment, the hippies and Warhol, and Vietnam...
Michelangelo, 1536-1541, The Last Judgment, Fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
Although Kant believed that perhaps artists couldn’t create the idea of the sublime, and that it could only be found in regarding nature (he describes the dynamically sublime, in how there can be such an overwhelming amount of information that you can take in that has the objectifying affect of making one feel like a small part of a larger universe that, I always say, “you can’t put a frame around”). But when I’ve experienced works like Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment at the Sistine Chapel (and of course, the ceiling!), I do have that overwhelming feeling! And when 9
My American Dream
View From the Whitney on Opening Night, Wednesday 4/22/15 2015 oil on linen 48 x 72 inches
This painting is from a photo I took on one of the opening nights of the new Whitney, after a long and momentous move downtown. One of the most exciting nights of my life, I was thrilled to find out just weeks before that my work was in their inaugural exhibition America Is Hard to See, and it was a truly sublime moment. I had been selected by Stuart Comer to participate in his section of the 2014 Whitney Biennial the year before, and the museum acquired one of my works from this exhibition, My Family, and had previously acquired my work 9-11, a gift from the generous Lois Plehn. I had of course known about the exhibition coming up at the new Whitney of works from their permanent collection, but had no clue that I would be included. It was only when Carter Foster, their Drawing Curator posted it on his Facebook that I saw the list. Thinking that I wasn’t in the show, of course I was a supporter and wanted to see the artists who were included. When I came to my name I was astounded! I still didn’t know which of the works they were displaying, and didn’t find this out until just a couple of weeks before the show. When Andrew and I went to the opening, we were in pensive moods— of course the subject matter of 9-11, the painting they had chosen,
overwhelmed much of our joy—I was very much humbled by what the painting stood for and what it symbolizes, and realize that the subject matter is much bigger than me and my art, and that this was one of the primary reasons it had been chosen, and wasn’t much in a celebratory mood as the looming atmosphere of all the people who had died, and what a catastrophic event it was and is for our history prevailed. It was a “dark and stormy” night that evening, and I felt (and heard!) in the prevalent winds circulating around the building what were like the souls of the people who had been in the Towers, and thinking about them, that history, and all that has come as a result from it. I had never wanted any money from these works, and had only painted them to relieve myself of nightmares I had of the people falling. I was comforted that it was at the Whitney, a great institution in a city that this event took place, near the site of where it happened now, in a context that featured some of the best figurative narrative allegorical works in America. In any event, this was all going through Andrew’s and I’s minds when we were at the opening, and we started on the top 8th floor that evening, and worked our way down following the chronological trajectory of the show. When we finally arrived to the last gallery on the fifth floor, we were
floored, as was on its own wall, next to the wall text opening up that “chapter” of the exhibition Course of Empire. I could not believe how incredible it was, although once again I knew that it had more to do with the potent subject matter of the piece, how it indicated the time shift of our history, and how ultimately, truly, the painting was an homage to the people we lost during that apocalyptic day. It was cathartic at the opening to go out to the amazing terrace, to literally get some air, and to take in the amazing view of the city and all that the evening represented. I took this photo at this time, thinking how fortunate we were to be alive and to have this experience, but also thinking of all who died in the tragedy and hoping I had paid respectful homage all those who died and had been affected by this time in history. I painted this painting while the exhibit was still up, feeling all these thoughts, but also all the history leading up to it, and the good and the bad moments as I was micromanaging away. I hope that I commemorated the event and our time in another, much more optimistic “history painting” of sorts—looking towards the future, the hopeful green light of the Empire State Building, the new New York of the Twenty First Century, and all that might happen with all the good people of our fair nation and world.
Sunset on the Sea 2014-2015 oil on linen 60 x 40 inches
Sunset on the Sea is a continuation of a body of work from images taken from the beach in Santa Monica during a time during my (and my husband Andrew’s!) 48th birthday in May 2013. This was a special moment, as the My American Dream installation was still on display for its last weeks in the Stuart Comer curated section of the Whitney Biennial, and I had also been commissioned to create one of my largest paintings for the Michael Smith-designed lobby of the Casa Del Mar Hotel, a historic resort in Santa Monica. As part of the commission, the owners of the hotel had given me carte blanche for the idea of the painting, and wanting to do something that was specific to the area, they had put up Andrew and I at the hotel to get a sense of its environment. We were overwhelmed by the majesty and beauty of both the hotel and its incredible surroundings, and I took thousands of pictures of the area, primarily the beach, pier, and ocean at sunset, as it was truly inspirational and awe-inspiring. The painting for the hotel--installed with pride of place in the center of their lobby--shows the sunset and the pier, but this image could be a sea anywhere in the world, and hopefully not only captures the captivating light, but also my feelings towards confronting this sublime view of nature. I have studied and taught Immanuel
Kant’s notions of the sublime, and although he perhaps mentions that it is difficult for an artist to encapsulate the overwhelming feeling a being a small part of a much bigger world—in an ineffable rush of the sublime that can happen when viewing events and scenes in nature—I have always felt that this was a goal of any great artist. If one can perceive a work, and have it emulate the experience of objectifying oneself as being a small part of a much greater existence, then hopefully one can also relate to the interdependence of oneself and mind to the community, culture, and world, and perhaps even, once realizing this, also go about making the world a better place. It took me several months to create this painting, beginning from the uber stage of laying out blocks of color, to the long, micro-managed stage of working with tiny brushes over minutia of details. Building on the synaesthetic processes of Rothko and others, I played music during all this time that related to how I felt about the image—from his favorite Mozart tragic opera, to jam music of the Grateful Dead, to jazz greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, all of which had transcendent, lyrical, co-dependent properties of form and emotion transfused through modulations of musical composition. I also listened to music that brought about positive feelings towards
the image and California—the Beach Boys, the Eagles, the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, and ultimately much contemporary music that embraces soundscapes and atmosphere, as I hope the image resonates now as much as it relates to art history, and the past, and can also be a jubilant emotional experience. At this important juncture of my mid-life and career, it allowed me to meditate upon the big thoughts of art and life, mortality and work, my and our place in nature in this time of strife, global-warming, and new millennia. Ultimately, I was struck with the ideas (for me, inspired by Tibetan Buddhism) of the literal and symbolic notions of interdependency—between the sun and the tide, of waves and water, and the sea and sky and earth—that also translated into the micromanaged interdependency of brushstrokes, and color creating the whole image. How it is not like the photo is what is “me” about it—and being a son of a psychoanalyst and loving Cézanne, I want to use aspects of nature to create a map for my unconscious to spill forth images and forms from my sublimated imagination, hopefully giving further life and energy, emotion, and ineffable feeling towards the majesty of this eternal scene of nature.
Copper Mountain 2015 oil on linen 48 x 72 inches
Copper Mountain is specifically a painting from my own photo of Jacque Peak, at the ski resort in Colorado where I grew up skiing every weekend and where we had a condo, coming up from the suburbs to be with family and friends. I rarely ski these days, and we made special post-Christmas plan to go back to Copper, and have the experience we remember so much growing up. It was different--we are all older, and with climate change, the snow felt a little crustier, the crowds less, and it really felt as if the ozone layer was more thin-- the sun and its beams penetrating. It was exalting to re-experience skiing downhill with my Dad and sister and to have the muscle memory of so many experiences of childhood. I had always thought that the theme of “man vs. nature” was of monolithic importance, especially more so now we are in a period of global warming. What better than to create an image, not of a mountain as they would in the time of the Hudson River School, but of a ski resort? But skiing puts you so much in touch with nature and the sublime phenomena of feeling such a small part of a vast world—it puts us more in touch with who we are and our responsibility towards the earth. And the truly majestic heights it sends us to when we are at the tops of the elevated peaks is still astounding. Also different than the days of pleine-air paintings,
and the sublime work of Turner, Friedrich, and landscape painting in general, is how we are able to capture our reality with digital photography that allows for more all-over detail and aspects like the contemporary lens flare of a camera. I also like the theme of climbing summits, and what it means to strive to reach them. Mountains are immortal, and the idea of the peaks having a conversation with the celestial sky is a simple but powerful notion of our earthly ways conversing with the heavens. The Mount Sainte-Victoire paintings by Cezanne seem to ruminate on some of these themes to me, too. I wonder if he is thinking of the mystery and majesty of that mountain, but also his childhood and personal world when he made those works, allowing his subconscious to map onto what he is seeing, and allowing his unconscious to “spill out” into the imagery along with his conscious hand as he is thinking his thoughts. I do think for painters that still paint with a brush that is something we can bring to table—that with each stroke of our brush, our conscious minds are recording what we want and see, but simultaneously, our unconscious minds channel unseen forces of emotion and unconsciously derived imagery that brings a
sublimated power to the work. With high resolution digital photography, I’m able to discern in micro managed ways formal relationships that earlier artists didn’t have access to, and have those moments serve as a model for my unconscious to work from. Picasso once said when you draw a circle without an aid of a compass, how it’s not like a circle is what is “most you” about it, and/or when you are painting from the Old Masters (like a student at the louver) how it’s not like the Old Masters is what is “you” about the painting. How my paintings aren’t like the photos I’m using is what is “me about it,” and I hope that the work has a “life of its own” that transcends its subject matter and the conceptual ideas around the project. To put me in the meditative mood to project this into the work, I played music and listen to subject matter that helps to direct my thoughts. For this painting, I listened to the Walkman soundtrack of my youth that I played skiing-- also listened to Mount Olympus-like Rolling Stone “Top 100” albums. I thought of the many coming of age experiences of my youth growing up in the mountains of my childhood, and contemporary times. I truly felt like the figure next to the tiny red shack in the center of the image, feeling a small being on a mountain of cultural time, humbled by being a part of an earth so close to the sky.
High School Self Portrait, 1984 2013 oil on linen 48 x 36 inches
This was an image that was my 1984 High School Senior Yearbook photo, that I also used for my Brown Freshman “Pigbook” image, that has also stayed with me through the years. I also used it as my postcard image for my infamous New York City solo show debut at Jay Gorney Modern Art in 1997, and currently for my Facebook portrait. In 1983, years before Photoshop, I put on my dad’s tuxedo, and held the empty frame before me and we shot the picture, then, after taking the separate portrait shot, I simply cut around the inner part of the frame and thumbs in the larger photo creating a window that I then taped the portrait photo to appear. Interestingly, it appeared in the yearbook without my name underneath, but became a little famous both in high school and amongst my friends at Brown who always remembered and wondered how it was created. I knew, or at least sensed, that I was gay in high school, and in addition to being a young artist cartoonist, was a closet punk rocker/new waver, things somewhat transgressive (or transcendent!) to be in my fairly conservative uppermiddle class cul-de-sac suburbia of my childhood. Although I was true to myself and friends and family as a teen, I was aware of the feeling of performativity, and although I was ‘popular”—elected Prom King at a huge public high school in addition to and maybe because of
my extracurricular involvement as the campus cartoonist and president of my high school radio station--I knew something lingered beneath the surface of the affable youth I presented to the world. In many ways, I feel the image was the first true “artwork” I created—working mostly instinctively but also fueling the image with sublimated ideas and desires that exceed my conscious intentions. Hopefully this gives something to the image beyond the obvious tricks I used to create the work that gives it a life. Also, I hope it serves as an allegory for an artist, that we are always literally behind our art. I have always wanted to make a painting from this work, and decided instinctively that it might be a good time to do so, not realizing that in the summer of 2013 that it also happened to serendipitously be my 25th high school reunion. Although sadly I couldn’t attend it was fun during the meditation of painting the work thinking about who I was then and who I am now. Art is obviously about self-expression, and it was deeply edifying to know that I was a happily married gay man to my partner of 20+ years, who finally, after a twenty-year career achieved a post-graduate goal of being in the Whitney Biennial. While painting, to get into the head space of my youth, I listened to my
favorite music of that time—from the pop fluff of the Spandau Ballet to the truly meaningful Clash, Talking Heads, and the music that helped me to survive the conservative culture in which I grew. If it weren’t for punk rock and smart music that was political as it was conceptual and exuberant (and involving community and aspirations that really did and does have a positive effect on the world then as it does now) I don’t think I would be the artist I am today. It was also painful to revisit the repressed anguish of those years, to wish that we lived in a better world where gay people and artistic expression could be accepted, valued, and respected. But how great to know how the world has progressed—that hopefully LGBTQ kids have a much easier time now than they did, and how the politics I felt of my youth have become part and parcel of our world today. But I really ultimately had a great time in high school, and love to be accepted as being different as I allowed others and myself to be—and what a great culture we did have at that time in movies, music, comics, and more--that I enjoy as much then as I do now, and importantly a family and friends that accepted me and my endeavors enough to embrace me and the expression of myself.
California Dreamin’ 2015 oil on linen 22 ¼ x 30 inches Collection of Cathy Gavin
Before I went to grad school in California, I was living in New York City, working at the New Amsterdam Theater as a house manager, and thinking and painting towards my future. I had a prescient, memorable dream during this time that I was following a cool guy up a hill who was wearing jeans in a scene that looked just like this. Flash forward about twenty years later I had taken this picture and realized it was just like that image in my dream! This is of Andrew, my husband and partner of twenty three years, looking at a vista on Avocado Mesa, in Tenaja—in the Murrieta Hills of Riverside California, where we dream about someday having a home. We sometimes drive to this area just to take in the views, but are also comforted to go back to our humble cabin near the big box stores and civilization, still gorgeous in every way—but its great to dream! I was asked around the time I did this painting to “cover” the haute-couture shows in Paris by Ingrid Sischy for her Interview. I think she wanted me to be a sketch artist for the magazine, creating drawings on the spot, but the models moved so fast, and there was so much to take in, that I ended up taking thousands of photos to get the right ones, and quickly made oil paintings for what turned out to be her last issue. Importantly, these were some of the first images I showed publicly based
on my own photos, and they gave me confidence to continue to make work from my own imagery. I had been looking around the studio and was becoming more frustrated, as although I enjoyed how hopefully I was putting my own spin on appropriated imagery, and all the post-modern productive baggage that can be ascertained using pre-found photos as a child of the Pictures Generation, I realized I didn’t have autonomy over the image in the way I yearned to—I wanted to be able to be the sole creator of the image, and also to begin to make work from my own life even more. I love Manet, and think he is the beginning of a sort of Post Post-Modernism, a “have your cake and eat it too plan,” where you can make work from your personal life that resonates politically and beyond the confines of the picture plane, work that has a critical context but also allows for warmth, beauty, and the painterly finesse of translating scenes of your own life through empathic, meditative rendering. When I took this photo and saw the results, I yearned to paint it. I’m not a new-age “magical thinking” type person, however, now when I make art, I want to create images that give me optimism and hope, and that are a pleasant meditation to locate my thoughts. I do think if you are creating images of things you wish to happen in your own life, beyond
magical thinking, it just simply sets the parameters of how you might think in order for good things to happen—as we are thinking our thoughts about the problems, issues, and ideas of our day in the analytical meditation a painting can posit, as you solve the formal problems of the image, and pieces fall into place, like dreaming, perhaps the problems of your day are also solved by metonymic association. When making this picture, although we still don’t have the property in Tenaja, it brought about the warmth and emotion of the initial dream I had thinking of my future husband, and also our current love for one another, and the dreams and hope that we share in our life. The personal is political, and hopefully this also resonates as a gay romantic love and relationship that two middleaged men could share in the freedom of the Twenty First Century, that in a painterly manner, also harkens back to the Romantic era of art of silhouetted figures looking into landscapes of Casper David Friedrich, the Western Expansion (in a good way) of the Hudson River School, and more—doing a homosocial reading of these subjects, but more importantly, showing an everlasting yearning of Landscape Painting and its connection to romantic dreaming and the desire for achieving human potentials.
Young Man and the Sea 2014 oil on linen 30 x 20 inches Collection of Deborah and David Michel
I’ve done a number of works involving maritime themes, and I have always been drawn to the theme of the ocean and the sea. This is from my own photo taken this summer at Santa Monica beach, where I was staying at the Casa Del Mar and taking images for a large commission--a painting of the sunset with the pier and the ferris wheel in the background that is now in the center of their front entrance lobby. I was in a celebratory mood, in the last days of my Whitney Biennial installation, and with the future ahead of me, also was thinking of my journey that lead up to this moment. When I graduated from Brown I wasn’t sure about the direction I wanted to go in—I was a Semiotics and Studio Art Major, who wrote, directed, and acted in plays and was the “cartoon guy” on campus, doing the daily strip and the illustrations for most of the various publications. I was also coming out as a gay young man, with some thwarted relationships, and had begun the long hard process of coming out to my family and friends. I went on a whirlwind nine-month trip with my childhood friend Jenn Kay through Western Europe, Egypt, and Kenya— where my sister was stationed working in the Peace Corps—before heading back through Eastern Europe. When I was house sitting in Lamu, near the equator in Africa for one of my sisters’ Peace Corps friends, it was a lonely, unsettling time where I was trying to
write, and to paint, and come up with ideas of cartoons but more involved my whole life. I was reading Ulysses, and in a very sublime and moving head space. Through a series of intense events, I ended up symbolically burned a play that I had written on the beach, and looking up saw a boat at sea and made a vow that I would move to New York City and become a fine artist Turner has been a huge inspiration in my later years as an artist, and comes from his own tradition and culture of cultivating sublime experiences when creating his wondrous landscapes, which often times depict the sun and sea, and man’s inhabitation of Earth, and able to transpose his perception of light and nature within allegories that also appeal to the mind as much as they might the mind’s eye. From Da Vinci and the Old Masters to Modernism, ideas of the artist to create something new sometimes necessitates looking towards nature more than to art history, culture, or one’s self. I have found from working from photos of nature and natural things that exist in the world, that I can hopefully resublimate some of the unconscious and subconscious aspects that the Modernists, from Cezanne forward were extracting from their views of seeing, back into natural forms but still, hopefully have my unconscious perpetuate through these forms. With digital photography, and high-end
printers, I have found more detail that I can observe than perhaps when painters were working En plein air or with early photography. For this work, I had a large format Epson print with a high resolution, very detailed image, which I transposed onto canvas using the classic tradition of the grid, which necessarily makes abstract all the details of the image within each square, allowing my “right brain” to be able to look at individual passages of form, light, and color without my “left brain” trying to amalgamate this into a symbolic image. Although the painting is small, it took me about a wonderful month to complete, meditating upon my life and career, playing music that I had listened to during this important time in my life, as I painted the micromanaged moments, to hopefully make a sublime photo about our place in nature and time, that had less to do with my own personal experience, but the age old Romantic ideal of forging a new world through dreams and aspirations. Like a Casper David Friedrich, I wanted to have the viewer be able to relate to and suture into the silhouetted figure looking out at the landscape full of hope and aspirations, and also one’s own place in the eternal ideals of humankind versus Nature.
New Year’s Eve Empire 2013 oil on linen 30 x 22 inches
A few years ago, inspired by Warhol’s movie Empire (where he filmed the Empire State Building for 24 hours) and Monet’s cathedrals, I began taking pictures of the Empire State Building whenever I passed it on my daily excursions around the city. The building gives me hope. In the hubris of the art deco era when it was built, they rose the then tallest building in the world, during the depression, in just about a year, employing the indigenousness Mohawk ironworkers (among many others) as they weren’t afraid of heights and had amazing dexterity. Ultimately, the top was to be a zeppelin-landing pad for passengers, and although the building inspired many, it was relatively unoccupied in its first year. Wonderfully it took the release and success of “King Kong” to popularize the building—humanize it in its way, and make it the mythic building it is today. I love this old world attitude and design of the building, obviously phallic, it was designed to look like a pencil—and for me it is the “pen being mightier than the sward”— that the creative imagination and optimistic energy it took to manifest this fabulous structure. While it is dwarfed by taller structures in the world, after the horrors of 9-11, it was the tallest structure remaining in Manhattan, and for me was an emblem of hope and America’s (and New York City’s) ability to stand strong, as a power and spirit in the world.
After privately accumulating many images on my cell phone and cameras, I thought it could be a cool project to post on Facebook, and Instagram. Every time I passed the vision of the building I would take an image and post, much to the chagrin of my friends. Unlike Warhol and Monet, I enjoyed trying different views, and to keep up the fun of the project (and the truly, personal meaning—hope) for me, I try to make each as unique, and individual as possible, with the thought that the image of Empire could act as a literal weather barometer for friends seeing the posts of the city, but also to try to capture the emotive spirit of my mood as I took the picture—a kind of visual diary, taking an image almost every day. For this image, I looked through the many (over a year) of images to see which ones got the most “likes.” This image was one that really did get many likes; perhaps it was because it was taken on New Years Eve of 2013, it held special meaning. With each one I say a little prayer to send to through the image to myself and my friends, and 2013 turned out to be great year of my dreams, when I asked by curator Stuart Comer to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. As the date approached for the Biennial to open, I began this painting to hold me steady and to keep me focused and optimistic. Heavily pixilated, the cell phone
image blown up held many mysteries. Like Monet who discovered different conjuring when he kept returning to the intricacies of his Rouen Cathedral, when I went into the pixels of my contemporary tech image, I found many different nuances in the bulbs of light and color that emerged. Relating to the pop infatuation with the Benday Dots Lichtenstein and Warhol embraced when painting comic-like images; the pixel is our modern day dot, making images out of ones and zeroes that manifest in color and form. It took me almost the entire duration of the Biennial to paint the image— through the openings, excitement, and many visits to the Whitney (and teaching in-between) I would return to this small canvas, finally completing the work several months into the project. As a youth after graduating from college I read Slaves of New York while traveling through Europe—which planted a seed for me to want to return to New York, become an Artist, and be in the Whitney Biennial. Finally, almost 25 years later it happened! As I tell my students, never give up on your dreams and keep striving to achieve, self-actualization with your art. I love and cherish my life and so glad I began and continued this journey of an artistic life.
Elvis Still Life 2014 oil on linen 22 x 30 inches Collection of Michael Mehring
Elvis Still Life depicts a scene from our cabin home in Riverside California, where I was watching the Elvis documentary This is Elvis. Despite the politics, Elvis always gives me hope, and its amazing to watch a person perform that changed culture, and to see tape of performances that shook the world. This is true when you are watching the first appearances of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and also Elvis. When the Beatles performed, in an age that had very few television channels, obviously no cable TV or internet, they were such a sensation that most of America was focused on the live performance that was so wildly popular that, as the legend has it, there were no crimes committed during the few minutes they were on Sullivan as even burglars were watching! Although Elvis literally shook the world when he infamously appeared on Sullivan (from only the shoulders up after gyrating to “Hound Dog” earlier on the Milton Berle Show, shocking a conservative America), before this Elvis Presley had first burst upon the American culture via television on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show in 1956, from which this image originated. In four successive visits on the program, Elvis had begun to conquer the world of music, helping to invent Rock n’ Roll and more. In the image on the television, he is singing the ballad I Was the One, from his four appearance on February 18,
1956. Caught in a moment of reverie, the singer looks up to the heavens with passion and intense movement, which the painting depicts with the micromanaged repeating of his eyes and features that were captured in the moment of the video still. Although he got a lot of his moves and music from African American Blues and Gospel, I optimistically like to think he too was born “on the wrong side of the tracks” and was from a poor family, friends with the African American communities of his youth, and grew up learning from attending those gospel performances and hearing and attending blues being played—and he too didn’t follow the Patriarchal Symbolic Order, wearing pink to school and having a “truck drivers’ haircut and attitude” in the deep south going to school. He also passionately believed in what he was singing, and was able to bring life to lyrics and music that he didn’t write—coming from the Pictures Generation of appropriation, I also have had many years of working with pre-ordained material that in a post-post Modern way want to bring new life and spirit to, like Elvis did with his music. As he was spiritual and passionate about his role as an artist and musician, I would like to think the video still captures a moment when he truly is transcendent, lost in his music, he goes beyond his corporeal body as he transmutes his message and music to the world.
Surrounding the contemporary television are cds and films—I’m an avid collector, and likes to “get inside” the persona’s that he paints when creates by researching his subjects and playing music and films that have to do with his subject matter to make it have a “life of its own,” much like the method actors that Elvis was inspired by to create his music. An American flag rest at the television’s side, and above, a detail of one of my paintings of a utopic image of whales and birds that is included in the Finale (Last Judgment) section of the My American Dream cosmology. Reflected on the surface of the TV is a “circle painting” that he painted in the ‘90’s that resembles a halo or heavenly projection, as Elvis was a believer. To paint the image, I listened to most all of Elvis’ career from these early years to Vegas in the ‘70’s, wanting to capture the spirit of this great entertainer— whom I have painted many times— and how he helped to change culture and influence the world.
View from the Freedom Tower 2015 oil on linen 48 x 72 inches
I had been wanting to create this work since the advent of the Freedom Tower as an antidote to the 9-11 paintings I created, and also as a symbol for the power of New York City, of America, and an optimistic view of the future. I had met the creator of the spire, and he mentioned to me that, like in a lighthouse, there was space for one person at the very top of the needle. It was always my hope to get up in there, like Turner tied to the masthead of a ship for the sublime rush of the experience being the highest you could get overlooking the City, and to paint the image with the feeling of the memory of the experience. I couldn’t get access, but serendipitously, Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor of the New Yorker had called me and wanted me to come and meet me in their new offices at One World Trade Center! When I graduated from Brown University—where I was the “comics kid” on campus, it was my hope then to come to New York City to become a New Yorker Cartoonist—thinking it would be my way to pay also for me writing and painting on the side. Being a Semiotics major, I wasn’t interested in philosophy, but knew I didn’t have it in me to be a philosopher, and I was more inclined to render than to write when it came to playwriting. But cartoons, especially the New Yorker gag (single panel) cartoon was about “bringing up ideas aesthetically and was really
the secret of making any great art that matters. As I was working at Robert Miller, and having conversations with the likes of Alex Katz, and stepping over Alice Neel’s and Basquiat’s as I opened up the gallery each day, I went on my path instead of rendering cartoons, with some small savings to go to graduate school to earn my MFA with Fine Art. To be asked, finally, after 25 years to come to the New Yorker offices and to meet with their esteemed cartoon editor was an incredibly meaningful event as my role as Comics Coordinator at the School of Visual Arts, where I have been “keeping it real” and keeping from “getting hit by lightning” by teaching students for the last 20 years comics as one of their lead teachers. As one of the first comics programs in the United States, it still is the best. So, before my meeting, feeling great about my past and where I am now, having literally Ground Zero behind and the future facing forward. I also wanted to get the feeling of the city vs. the sky. Thinking about Turner (also the famous Steinberg New Yorker cover of the View of the World from 9 th Avenue!), it was about New York vs. the rest of the world, and the ancient paradigm of “Man vs. Nature.” Even though there is a lot to celebrate in 2015 New York City America, in the
world of nature, time, and the universe, it can mean so little, again, in a sublime POV. While painting this picture, I listened to the top albums of Rolling Stone magazine, intermingled with the audiobook of Patti Smith’s Just Kids, and importantly, Dante’s Divine Comedy. I want to make pictures that matter, and what better inspiration than some of the greatest music that has been so inspirational to my life. I love Patti Smith’s Just Kids, growing up with that and meaningful relationships with Mapplethorpe and his work. I listened to the audiobook of Dante’s Divine Comedy which made so much sense—coming from the circles of the Inferno that the area surrounding Port Authority could represent, to the starry sky of this city of lights, which Paradise could represent, I was really moved by Dante (also knowing he was Michelangelo’s favorite author, and loving the illustrations by Gustave Doré. The image did remind me of an island floating in time, and I was painting the sky during the entire Paradise sequence, ending when the narrator finally sees God. I then put the finishing flourishes on the best six albums, a fitting end to the painting that ultimately was about the salvation of our magnificent city and all the souls within it and our world.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree--I grew up in a house that was very much salon-style and eclectic with it curatorial aesthetic choices! My folks, when they moved to their new place downtown, decided to build their “Rogues Wall” of photos (and some art!) of ancient ancestors to the present day genealogy of our family, its history, and its current present, with Andrew and I, my sister Chaya Rivka, and more. I have always wanted to recreate, trompe-l’oeil, in painting the wall (and my love for all the people!) in its splendor, and finally had the opportunity to do so with this exhibition. There are a total of 78 (!?) images on the wall itself, I got through about 43 before I was on the verge of collapse, but hope that my efforts do the wall, and most importantly, its people and our families, some justice. In the spirit of the piece, I had my folks (and others involved in the pictures) comment on each, and have included their comments here. All involved were slightly incredulous but willing to play along-who cares about family histories? I think hopefully people will--and at the very least it was a fun way to learn even more about who we are and how we got here, and some colorful interchange with the folks that matter. All was done with love and care, the exhibition has the wall as my parents conceived it--missing elements remain as space to fill, perhaps in the future, but also create a lovely pattern that hopefully resembles our genealogical tree, with juxtapositions devised initially in the months my parents took to build their “Rogues Wall.”
From left to right, starting with the top line (ages approximate): 1)Michele age 13-14 @ Copper. 2)you going to Cotillion the first night. 7th or 8th grade? 3)Michele at Copper 13-14. 4)All of us, maybe at Vail?? Not at Copper. To us, you look about the same age as in the Cotillion pic., about 13? 5)You, me and M. with you about 6-7. 6) Sweetie as a puppie, age ??? You make it up! 7) Disneyworld in FL, you about 6-7, with a famous mouse. 8) Keith as Superman, age 8? 9) all of us at your graduation. You figure ages: I was born in 1933, Mom in 1937, Michele in 1963. 10) Me and Michele at Copper, Michele maybe 13-14. 11) Michele’s first Xmas, age 1, posing for Xmas card. These are obviously just the dates. You can construct our and Michele’s excited /proud superlatives yourself, from your viewpoint, and easy to imagine our positive feelings, or we wouldn’t have saved and mounted the photos. You can bother us for others that you can’t approximate yourself. We enjoy being stimulated to reconstruct. Love – Dad
HI Dad Thanks so much for all of this! So very helpful! I’ll have to get you more images to ruminate about. Listening to the American Graffiti soundtrack while painting, I realized we all were dancing around with funny hats and glasses and mardi gras beads that one evening I still remember from that one photo. As I mentioned to mom, so fun thinking about all these wonderful memories while painting! Much love, and THANK YOU and hope all is great! Keith
Keithyour recall matches mine. We are collapsed next to Gram’s couch to the left of the entrance into the living room, with Mom’s portrait behind you and out copper seated lady and the NO drawings montage behind CR. Love, Dad
Scrapbook windows, oil on linen, 16 x 12 inches 83
Mom and the Magnolia Tree, oil on linen, 8 ½ x 6 ¾ inches
Kei: The first picture was taken at Auburn University in Ala.- really to show off a beautiful Magnolia tree blossom - for all those who have never had the delight of seeing them (and smelling them). Auburn has a beautiful campus. We stopped there (our first and only visit to the campus) because Mark Daily (father of our god children so loves the school). Love you. Mom
Dad in Garden, oil on linen, 14 ¼ x 11 1/5 inches
We lived at Red Fox from 1969 - 2001 and did love it. I tenderly took care of my garden behind the deck. My guess is that I was about 40-45 y/o in that photo. We moved years after you both left because the contractor who we had hired to remodel our beloved house to our needs, without kids there, said he thought it was like doing a face lift on an old lady and we wouldn’t really like what we were planning with them. So we decided to move. Great decision, and although I do miss sitting on our lovely deck, I don’t miss gardening in my aged skeleton. Nice to have the City of Denver be our gardeners and to now live downtown. XO - Dad
Us in Savannah, oil on linen, 11 x 13 inches
This picture was taken in Savanaha, GA when we went south for the “Bain Girls and families” reunion in 2000. Again the gorgeous flowers all across the south are like no others in the US - the heat, humidity, and rich soil produces such a wide variety of flowers. Love you. Mom
Mom with her mom and dad, oil on linen, 11 ½ x 14 ½ inches
Kei: This picture was taken probably 1961 in the spring in Belzoni when Peter and I were visiting over Easter. Your Dad was a junior year medical student at Tulane so he still had “vacations” around holidays. The people in the threesome picture are your grandparents (Lew and Lois) and me. It had to be a Sunday, as Love has on her hat, which she only wore on Sundays to church or to special events - so. The car is your father’s gift from Gram - his pride and joy – a 1958 Triumph TR-3 which we both loved. Love you, Mom
Me at Chenonceau, oil on linen, 10. 5 x 8 ¾ inches
While in college at Brown University, I worked at a deli called “Geoff ’s” which is still there on Benefit street near RISD. I loved working there, as you could hang out with your friends, play loud music, and yell at the customers who expected it in a teasing manner. I saved enough money that with my parents buying me a plane ticket and a Eurail pass I was able to travel with my childhood friend Jenn Kay through western Europe, to Egypt, then to Kenya, where my sister was in the Peace Corps, and back through Eastern Europe before I ran out of money in Brussels and had to come home after seven months. It was an amazing, seminal time for me where I made a lot of decisions about my life, saw a lot of incredible art and scenes, and decided to become an artist. In fact, it was this very day at Chenonceau in the Loire Valley that I had the epiphany to “do this.” Growing up in California I really didn’t fathom you could be a “fine artist” as a career, and although I was a Studio Art and Semiotics major at Brown, I always was the campus cartoonist and I thought I would become a New Yorker cartoonist and it would pay my way to paint and write (I also wrote, acted, and directed plays at Brown). However, in my satchel in the picture I had two books--Bonfire of the Vanities, and Slaves of New York, both which had inspired me to come to New York and “do this,” try to build on the legacy of all the incredible art I was seeing and give myself a chance to try to pursue a career--both in cartooning (and I teach as Cartoon Coordinator at the School of Visual Arts, one of the best schools in the world for cartooning as one of the lead instructors), and have enjoyed my twenty+ years as an exhibiting fine artist, so I guess in a way, dreams do come true! Keith Mayerson
Dad senior portrait, oil on linen, 11 ½ x 9 ½ inches
That’s me in my favorite herringbone sportcoat posing for my photo in the Brown U. senior yearbook, feeling very proud and happy underneath the fake cool!
Catherine and motorbike, oil on linen, 7 ¼ x 5 ¼ inches
On St. Patrick’s Day, 2011, we had lunch with Aunt Catherine at No-No’s, a New Orleans style restaurant near her retirement home in the Southwest Denver area. She was then 94 y/o. We were disturbed by the repeating roars of motorcycles going by to the next door Harley-Davidson dealership. After lunch, we went over to the dealership to see what was going on. They were having their regular holiday open house for riders, and there were scores of motorcyclists wandering around, drinking the free coffee and eating the doughnuts. You could don a helmet and sit on a motorcycle to get the feel. So that’s what Catherine did (at our urging). It was one of the last really bright spots of her life, as she died about 4 months later.
Dad and tire, oil on linen, 8 ½ x 6 ½ inches
This is young Peter, about 3 y/o on the beach at Pass Christian, MS. I look quite independent and self assured, it seems to me. About 3-4 y/o.My grandparents had a vacation house right across the highway from the beach where I spent a lot of time in the summer, with them and sometimes with my parents. Parents would often go there for a weekend, and sometimes I would go for a week or more with just my grandparents. I loved the beach in front of the house, on the Gulf of Mexico. The water was shallow, and I would float around on my inner tube (with an adult present). I was the oldest of 6 grandchildren. Peter W. was about 2 1/2 yrs younger, Gail and Mary about 4-5 yrs younger, Deb 18 yrs younger and Wendy 20 y/y. As their first grandchild, I was the apple of my grandparents eye - and loved it. Grandma would often play ball with me on the beach and watch me float in the inner tube. When I was a few yrs older I would love going fishing with. You don’t see their pier here, but it reached maybe 25-40 yards into the water. We often would sit out on the pier, or drop crab nets over the rail. I would sit out there in the evening, and star gaze with Grandma, and she would tell me about the different star constellations. There were deep woods behind the house where we would often go walking. Some of my most fond, fun memories of childhood go back to summers in their house, which was called “Shackling.” A cut out of a photo of me, about the same age, with a beach ball, has for years been sitting on Mom’s dresser, so I guess she thinks its cute. Many happy memories. Hope that gives you a picture of the picture! - Dad
Mom as baby with Ball, oil on linen, 15 x 11 ¾ inches
As you know, this is me, I would guess around 10 - 12 months. About the same age as you were in the picture of you and the Red. (I’m much prettier than your Dad - on the opposite side of you and the Red). Have a great day! Much love, Mom
Grandma and Grandpa, oil on linen, 7 ¼ x 10 ½ inches
This looks like about the time my Mother & Father got married, which was in 1930. Mother was 23 y/o and Dad was 30 y/o. Dad had recently come down to New Orleans, from Yale, to be on the faculty of the Dept. of Physiology at Tulane Medical School. Mother had grown up in New Orleans and gone to college at Wellesley College. I don’t know anything about how they met. As I view the photos, I see Dad as a kind, thoughtful, caring man. Mother looks wistful and sort of depressed, which is how I perceived her. You can add your perceptions of them as grandparents.
Gram as a young woman?, oil on linen, 10 ¼ x 9 ½ inches
Carrie Godchaux Wolf, 1885-1974. My maternal grandmother. Pic taken when she was in her 20’s I would guess. Beautiful young woman, active socialite, devoted caretaker of her 5 children and several younger brothers and sisters.
Great Grandfather oil on linen, 10 ½ x 9 inches
Hey Keith - These were my maternal grandparents. Gram was born in 1885 and Grandpa in 1881, as I recall. They were married in about 1906-1907. Gram became pregnant with my mother on a year long honeymoon that they took in Europe. He was then a cotton broker who had many European customers. He later became a stockbroker and eventually a partner in Merrell Lynch, Fenner & Beane, one of the premier brokerage firms in the US in his time. He was always a very caring, kind but very reserved person. Intelligent and sharp. Gram was more open in her love and caring and we had a very close relationship. Among zillions of other things, she came out to CO for a visit and felt sorry for us that we didn’t have a color TV so bought us one, and that’s what we were all watching in bed when Deb took the picture. Although doing much volunteer work, she never had a professional job, but was a professional family caretaker, starting off with taking care of her younger siblings after her Mother died, which I think was when she was on her honeymoon. You’ve read part of an autobiography that she wrote, at the instigation of Peter Wolf. As you know, he is the self appointed family historian and your might want to consult him about more material. I just looked in his book, “My New Orleans Gone Away,” and there is lots of stuff about Gram & Grandpa in chapters 1 & 2 and several references in his index under “Wolf,” of course. On the wall, there are several more pictures of “Gram” that I just sent you. 1. in the 3 in one frame:a-my mother as a baby, gram with her parents. b.-baby me, my mother, Gram, her mother. c. baby Michele, my mother, gram, me. 2. Gram as a little girl. 3-family pic w Gram as a young woman. 4. later family pic where you can recognize most folks. 5. Gram and Grandpa at Deb’s wedding, I think. I could go on and on. Call me, as necessary.l!!!! Much love - Dad 95
Grandpa with pipe, oil on linen, 10 5/8 x 8 5/8 inches
This is a picture of my Father, Hy(men) Mayerson, with his signature pipe, when he was about 60 y/o.Â At this time he was Chairman of the Dept. of Physiology at Tulane Univ. Medical School. This was an iconic image that was used by Time Magazine in an article citing his scientific achievements when he was Chair of the National Academy of Science.
Dad as boy, oil on linen, 10 ½ x 8 ½ inches
Here’s child Peter, now about 3-4 y/o, in another photo taken by what looks like the same photographer who did Baby Peter. I still appear to be holding a ball, but now it must be an imaginary ball. I’ve got a good haircut now! To my eyes, the photographer has again done his magic and made me look adorable. I was the adored child first child of my parents, and my maternal grandparents, but I know I didn’t always look or act adorable. However I was reasonably happy and I did try to be a “good kid” and maybe this comes through in the photograph. Love, and with care - Dad
CR and I as babies, oil on linen, 13 ¼ x 11 ¼ inches
Happy grins for Olan Mills. CR/M age 4 K age 2 I’m guessing—Chaya Rivka
Dad and mom cutting cake, oil on linen, 10 ¼ x 8 ½ inches
Kei: The picture is of us cutting the grooms cake which was made by Terry Campbell’s mother. It was German chocolate - your Father’s favorite at that time. Notice the top hat decoration. Twas truly a labor of love as the “Groom’s Cake” was not a standard item for weddings at that time. The candle holders on the table were sterling silver and the candle holders in the background (tall) were wrought iron (black). Much, much love always. Mom & Dad
Mom and Dad wedding, oil on linen, 14 ¼ x 16 ¼ inches
Kei: The picture is of our cutting the traditional “bride’s cake,” and is quite faded (we have a much better copy of that in our wedding album) The weather was hot (about 110), the reception was in the church’s auxiliary building - so no alcohol - so the New Orleans group set up a bar on the hood of a car on the street by the church, which was shut down by the police after about 30 minutes. It was all just fine. There were about 300 people at the wedding. As you know, we have a whole book of photos full of wedding photos. Your Dad proposed the weekend that “John,” to whom I was “informally” engaged, came to New Orleans to plan our wedding. Your Dad won. Love you, Mom
Dad as boy, oil on linen, 10 ½ x 8 ½ inches
Here’s your Dad as a darling baby, caught by the pro photographer at a happy moment. Must have been showed a funny animal, or photo, or maybe he was tickled. Even though he needs a haircut, he was very handsome.
Love as a young woman, oil on linen, 8 ¼ x 6 ¼ inches
This was probably her graduation picture from Mary Hardin College for Young Women in Texas., where she was a music major. Age 21? I think it’s still in business, but I don’t think it was ever connected to Baylor College. Mom
Mom and her dad, oil on linen, 10 ½ x 15 ½ inches
You never met your grandfather (my father), Joseph Llewellyn Bain, as he died a year before your birth. He was a lovely, caring, delightful guy, who loved sports, primarily football and baseball, was a wonderful dancer (had many trophies from ballroom dancing - the contests were quite popular around the US when he was young) and was greatly loved all around the Miss. Delta - when he died the church was absolutely packed - even the Gov. of the state came. His father, Fount, who was born and raised in the Delta on a cotton plantation out side of town) owned a good bit of Belzoni - the cafe in town, the furniture store, the Ford dealership and the funeral home. Fount died of a massive heart attack, in the middle of the Depression and Dad was faced (having a child - Melite- a home in the process of being built, and Mother was pregnant with Myna) in choosing which enterprise to keep. Obviously, no one was buying furniture or cars, they were not going out to dine, but they were continuing to die, so Dad became a funeral director. Never was a person so ill equipped to do the job. I can’t tell you the many times I saw my father in tears - he had grown up with so many and loved them. However, he did the community a great service. In my senior year in high school, I remember he came home one day and announced that he had, at last, payed back every penny that his Father, Fount, had owed when the Depression hit. He never got to a major league baseball playoff - several times, he had arrived in the host city only to be called back because the family of someone insisted that he conduce the funeral service of their loved one. After several tries, he settled for watching the games on TV. I loved him a lot.
New Orleans Family, oil on linen, 9 ½ x 11 5/8 inches
Aichewawa! Gram’s periodic assemblages were epic events (as you can tell from the enthusiastic looks on the faces captured herein). My favorite story is that they took one about a year before I was born, and when I appeared, she didn‘t want to restage it so she just took a photo of Mom, Debbie, and me (infant) on the couch, which she pasted into the original. Imagine what she could have done with Photoshop,. You obviously can date this from Steven Lewis’s birth - he’s the bebe on Gail’s lap. Birth of first great grandchild meant a new picture! xxW (Wendy Wolf) I remember when this was taken. Every time everyone was in town, Grandma would get the photographer come to take a family picture. He arranged us by both height and age. I was smiling a big open mouthed grin, and Uncle Pete told me, through his teeth, to close my mouth, so Then I tried to smile like Gail. Wendy didn’t like being squished between Grandma and Grandpa. Deborah Wolf
Gram and Great Grandpa, oil on linen, 14 Â˝ x 12 Â˝ inches
This a picture I remember well, taken at our house in Green Acres the night of their 50th wedding Anniversary. We had a tent in the yard for the party, so many flowers around and many, many guests. It was a wonderful night. Deborah Wolf
This is a picture of my father Hymen Mayerson’s family. Dad is pictured standing in the back row next to his sister, Ida (the mother of Norman who was the father of Jeff). His brothers, from left to right, were Mickey, Pike and Louie. Mickey was the father of Jane Mayerson, who I knew when I was at Brown. She was a couple of years younger than me. I was very attracted to her, but was inhibited by the incest taboo! We were good friends. You met her when you were at Brown. By then, she had become a city planner and was among the people who renovated Providence form a poor, dumpy city into it’s present modern form. She sadly died early, shortly after you graduated, from cancer. Her older sister, Margie, also lived in Providence. I met she and her family, but didn’t know them well. Originally from a small town outside of Vienna, Dad’s father immigrated to the US in the 1890’s, as a boy of 18-19. When coming through Ellis Island, he was asked his last name. His last name was Summerfelt (Summerfield), but in his small town they didn’t use last names, but you were so and so’s son. So he said he was “Mayer’s son,” and that’s how the name came to be. He was sponsored by his uncle, who lived in Woonsocket, RI, so went there, where he became a peddler and then established a small general store. He sent back to his family in Austria for a bride, and they sent over a “good girl,” who was a rabbi’s daughter in a neighboring town in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. They married, and “learned to love each other,” as Dad told me. Much like Fiddler on the Roof. the hat that my grandfather is wearing was a large version of a yamaka. They were toward the orthodox end of conservative Judaism. Dad was the first in the family to go to college, at Brown. He then went to Yale for his PhD in physiology. He was a favorite of one of his teachers, who was asked to head the Dept. of Physiology at Tulane U. He asked to Dad to go to New Orleans with him and so he did. Dad eventually succeeded his sponsor as chair of the Tulane physiology dept. Dad talked about his family as being typical small town immigrant Jews, who were caring and conservative in their religion and life style. They seldom talked about their family of origin, as they were mostly wiped out in WW I. Dad didn’t know the name of their towns of origin. He only occasionally went back to Woonsocket, as passenger airplanes were yet to be invented and it was a long, 2-3 day trip from N.O. I went with him once, about age 13. His parents were nice, simple folks who spoke Yiddish with each other and were not very conversant in English. I then visited when I was at Brown. My grandmother had died by then. Aunt Ida still lived in Woonsocket. Uncle Mickey was a “ner-do-well” gambler in Providence who was married to Harriet, who was a responsible lady who held the family together. Uncle Pike lived in Connecticut. He had a son, Paul?, who went to Tulane and later became an Anglican minister in NH. I hardly knew them. Uncle Louie allegedly fell down an elevator shaft (in adolescence?) and was “never quite right” afterwards. He seemed to me to be quite cognitively impaired and lived a sheltered life with his parents. If you wanted to know more about the family, Jeff could probably fill you in as he had much more contact with the family than did I. So that’s much more than you wanted to know!! Your job to condense it as you wish. Much love - Dad Remember in bits and pieces . As a child I Would visit Woonsocket and meet some of our Relatives. Hy, your grandfather was an amazing man and loving and kind to all. My father and Grandmother always spoke of him with great Memories. Jeffrey Dunn
Hymen Mayerson family, oil on linen, 12 Â˝ x 17 Âž inches
I looked at the back of the photo and all it says is Carrie Wolf, who was my grandmother., written in her handwriting. No date. Our best guess is that she looks about 6 y/o. Her maiden name was Godchaux. As a girl, she lived in the house on Jackson Ave., which is the photo just to the left of this photo. She lived from 1885 - 1974. In 1974 I was 41, so we knew each other well as adults. She was very close to both me and Mom. As her first born grandchild, we had a special relationship. She came out and visited us in Denver, and we saw her in N.O. as a family, so she knew you and Michele as children. She is in several other photos on the wall. As an adolescent in the many peopled family portrait of the Weis family, as an older person with my grandfather just below the photo of Mom and her Dad, and through the ages in the vertical 3 photo frame of my mother, me and then Michele as babies being held by our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. Gram was probably about 6 years old in the picture. Still has some baby fat. She was the oldest of 5 siblings. Uncle Leon was next oldest, then Aunt Justine (mother of Ben Eiseman), then Aunt Julliet and Uncle Paul, neither of whom you know their descendants. They all lived in a huge old Victorian house Jackson Ave. in the heart of the Garden District, then and now the poshest residential district of New Orleans. Her paternal grandfather, Lion Godchaux, had immigrated from Herbeviller, France, in Alscae-Lorraine, to New Orleans in 1837, at the age of 13!, and earned a living as a peddler. He became immensely successful and eventually changed his name to Leon Godchaux, established Godchaux Clothing Store and Godchaux Sugars. The store became one or the most prominent dept. stores in NO, and the sugar plantation was one of the preeminent sugar growers in the US. He became one of the most prominent citizens in N.O. Leon was a “fiddle” player and passed on his interest in music to his children and grandchildren. When Gram was growing up, her father, brother and friends would have chamber music concerts in their house. Gram’s father, Paul Godchaux, inherited and operated the store and was quite wealthy. He and his wife, Justine Lamm, raised their 5 children, as well as Justine’s several younger brothers, in her Mother’s house on Jackson Ave. XO - Dad PS - a sideline for CR. Lion’s grandmother was named Michelette! As was one of his daughters, who was Gram’s great aunt. We may have told you that we had no idea of this when we picked out your name, but Gram was just delighted that we (unconsiously) had picked out a family name!
Gram as Baby, oil on linen, 17 ¼ x 13 ¼ inches 109
Mom’s College Portrait, oil on linen, 10 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches
Kei: I was 17, a freshman in college( Millsaps, private college in Jackson, MS) and this was my sorority (Chi Omega) yearbook picture. It was a wonderful year. I was taking 21 hrs. per semester, was in the Acapella touring choir, did some theater work - small parts and scenery work, etc. Lot of fun and a lot of work.
Andrew and I, oil on linen, 11 x 13 inches
One of the most memorable trips of life with the Mayerson Family is when Keithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parents took us on a week-long summer mountain expedition that included lake side lodges, picnics in virgin verdant mountain valleys, and off-road driving on one of the highest mountain paths in the USA. The adventurous spirit of the Mayerson Family was made palpable to me over that week; his parents were youthful and mobile and like loving friends. This is a picture of Keith and I taken by his father at the summit of that off-road expedition right after negotiating a road consisting of large boulders in a blue Ford Explorer something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never done before this time. Andrew Madrid
Morris and Brunetta (Nettie) Wolf, oil on linen, 7 ¼ x 10 ½ inches
These are my maternal great-grandparents, the parents of my mother’s father, Albert J. Wolf. Names were Morris and Brunetta (Nettie) Wolf. My grandfather was born in 1881, so they must have lived in the second half of the 19th century. They likely immigrated from Germany. They lived in St, Francisville, LA, a small town north of Baton Rouge, LA., where they ran a general store and Grandpa was born and raised there. He had probably been a peddler, like many Jewish immigrants. I think their parents had immigrated from Bavaria, according to a family tree. Your guess is as good as mine as to their ages. Maybe in their 40’s? They were both dead by the time I was born, in 1933, and I know little about them. You make up your story of what their life might have been like! XO - Dad
Love and family, oil on linen, 10 ¾ x 7 ½ inches
Unless you look very carefully, you would think we were all just delighted to be in the picture. However, looking closeley, you’ll see my “smile” wasn’t real - Myna was pinching me and I hated my dress.
Keith, watch out yet you drown in family history! I can’t tell you much, personally, about this picture. As you can see, my maternal grandmother, Carrie Godchaux Wolf is a young woman in the front row. I’ve told you tons about her, but don’t know that much about her family that I haven’t relayed to you. You might ? other family historians, such as Peter Wolf, Andy Eiseman (his grandmother is sitting next to mine), or your new found second cousin once removed, Joe Friend (see his father, as a young boy, pasted in on the far right as one looks at the photo and his grandmother (who was one of the most prominent women in NO in her time) is on the far left). I’ll mail you the Autobiography of Julius Weiss, the pater familias (sp.?) in the center of the photo. Peter Mayerson Holy smoke. By the way, twice removed. Peter and I are once removed. If I you need more Julius Weis (not Weiss) autobiographies,let me know . Joseph Friend I’d love the highest res you have of this photo. I have never seen it, and never seen my grandmother (in the man’s tie seated next to your great grandmother in the front row) so young. Julius Weis, the most senior man (with the beard) in this image, was born in 1826 into poverty in what is now called Germany. He was a rag picker in Europe, and a peddler after moving to the US in 1845. He sold dry goods, stoves, and other household items plantation-to-plantation across Louisiana and Tennessee and made himself into quite a wealthy man. Much of his financial success came during the civil war. HIs acumen lead him to to avoid the confederate currency and take his payments in cotton, which he sent by slow boat to NYC where it commanded huge prices during the war. He also bought gold and sent it to France, to ride out the conflict, or took land as collateral for debts and then took the land when the plantation owners were ruined by the war. But he was also a man of great charity. He brought most of his family over form the old country to live with him in NO. He started many of the leading Jewish institutions that still survive in NO today. But he was not an orthodox Jew. He told a story of being so hungry in his early days as a rag peddler of being offered a half a sandwich by a poor black man on the road. It turned out to be a ham sandwich, and from that moment onward he had an open mind. His daughter, seated to his left in the center of the photo was Retta Weis. She was his eldest child. Shortly after she was married to Paul Godchaux (immediately behind her) her mother died. From that day onward she raised her own younger brothers and sisters, and her own kids as a single massive household, along with aunts and uncles from the old country. Some of her brothers never married, or married very late in life: Sim, Joe, Marion and Fred. There are stories how each had mistresses or engagements that never came off. But only Joe married (at 70). All of Retta’s children stayed in NO except my grandmother, Justine. She married a man whose family were also Jewish retailers and dry goods wholesalers in Tennessee and Missouri. So she moved to St Louis where she lived out her life. Your great grandmother, Carrie, is seated in the front row. I assume you have read her life history. If not, I attach it here. Andrew Eisman Hi Andy! How GREAT and super informative and fun to read---any of these folks LGB? Or are we to muse about the bachelors, etc. and wonder why they stayed single? Deb and Wendy Wolf think the image might have been taken at great Aunt Ida’s, FYI. Keith Mayerson You have my blessing to use any or all of this. I raise the issue of the bachelor uncles since my father did. When I came out in my very early 20s, he said that there was a line of bachelor uncles in the family, mentioned these guys by name, and implied that they might have had other interests. But it was funny that when your g-grandmother, Marraine, gave her oral history of the family, she only mentioned these guys briefly, and always included something about their engagements to women or their marrying eventually… Methinks she might have been trying to cover some tracks. Good luck! Andrew Eiseman
Ancient Family, oil on linen, 16 Â˝ x 17 inches
3 Generations, oil on linen, 20 ½ x 11 ¼ inches
A wonderful three generation picture of beloved babies and their proud forebearers. From bottom to top, left to right: 1- 1964 - Caroline Wolf Mayerson, Carrie Wolf, Michele, me 2-1933 -My mother, me, my great grandmother, Retta Godchaux, my grandmother, Carrie Godchaux Wolf. 3-1907 - Carrie Wolf, my mother, Mother’s grandmother, Retta Weis Godchaux and great grandfather, Julius Weis. more info from back of photos: 1. Michele 4mos., Peter-31, Caroline-57, Carrie-78 2. Peter-6 mos., Caroline-26, Carrie-48, Retta-68 3. Caroline - 6 mos, Carrie-22, Retta - 42, Julius-80
Early Family portrait, oil on linen, 14 ½ x 12 ½ inches
Great family portrait. Mom says you have on your Cotillion suit, which means you were in the 7th or 8th grade, ages 13-14, which makes it about 1979-80. That looks about right to me. Michele looks like about 15-16. My label would be: “The two good looking Mayerson kids and their handsome parents.” Look at all my hair. Hah! CR can weigh in with an opinion.
Us with the Henleys, oil on linen, 5 ¼ x 7 ¼ inches
Yes, us and our cousins and good friends,the Henleys, David, Ludie, Diane, in Newport Beach. I still had my swoop, you don’t have a beard. So maybe 8-10 years ago? You guess.
Wendy and Hugh, oil on linen, 4 ¾ x 5 ½ inches
In their garden in upper state NY. I think they look very relaxed and content. Mom stepping in as guest commentator and the subject of the photo - this was taken about 2000 by our great friend Doug Magee, who comes every summer with his wife and now large college age sons to swim and have lunch and take an annual photo of Hugh and me. This is probably the first, in our house in Yorktown, with me being casually suspicious of any photo but HVD calmly relaxing in. All I can think of is “no grey hairs yet!” All photos should be taken in a summer garden. It makes us all look like fresh bloomers.. xxx Wendy (Wolf)
Southern family, oil on linen, 7 ½ x 9 ½ inches
One of the few times that all the “Bain Girls,” their spouses, and children were able to return to Belzoni at the same time. This was 49 years ago.
Mom in tap dancing costume, oil on linen, 5 ¼ x 3 5/8 inches
This is a picture of me at age 7 or 8 in my tap dancing costume. Love insisted that we 3 gals take dancing lessons (from age 3 until around 10 or 11), speech recitations (age 6 until 10), and piano lessons until graduation from high school. The recitals were actually a major production with many elements and several costume changes. How in the world a little town in the middle of the Miss. Delta had all these advantages for the children, I’ll never know. At this age, I was still playing ball with the neighborhood boys, rubber guns, and any other mischief we could get into. I also was among the “Gang of 6” - we gals would steal a pack of cigarettes from our parents on Sat. mornings and would meet at the cemetery by the big oak tree and consume the whole pack. We thought we were quite sophisticated. Some of my “cradle buddies” are still resentful that they weren’t allowed to join.
CR with Watermelon, oil on linen, 9 ½ x 7 ½ inches
These pictures were taken the first full summer we were in Denver in 1967, in our back yard on Cheesman Park. It was your first taste of watermelon. You loved it. Both you and the Red had a wonderful afternoon. You were about 14 months old and Red was about 4 1/2.
Me with Watermelon, oil on linen, 5 x 6 ¾ inches
Kei: you were about 1 year old. We were having your first watermelon afternoon party in our back yard in our old Denver brownstone which backed onto Chessman Park. Both you and the Red absolutely loved watermelon. Of course, we had to “hose” you both down before you reentered the house, but it didn’t spoil your wonderful afternoon. We had many more afternoons like this one, and you both always loved it. Mom
Love w/ Mom’s friends, oil on linen, 6 ¾ x 5 ¾ inches
Love’s very first warm-ups. Age 75. At a fishing camp in CO. Love always was beautifully dressed - stockings, heels, dress or pantsuit - but at a fishing camp in the fall, at night, warm- ups were the way to go. She never wore them again.
Cross Country Skiing, oil on linen, 3 ½ x 10 inches
This is a memento of a wonderful trip together when you joined me and my group of friends for our annual 3 day weekend cross country ski trip up to one of the huts in the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. There are 33 huts, all in Colorado, all above 10,000’ elevation. This trip was to Janet’s Cabin, elevation 11,610, near Jacques Peak and Copper Mountain Ski Area. You kept up quite well with the group of experienced XC skiers. As you can see in the photo, there was a heavy snow on Saturday night, which made for soft, lovely skiing on the trail down. A lovely memory – Dad
Believe it or not, that was the style. This is a picture of my mother, Lois Enona Love Bain. I called her Mom. All the grandchildren knew her as “Love.” She was born November 26, 1906 to Dr. and Mrs. J.F. Love in DeRitter, LA.. In this picture she was about 8 or 9 yrs. old. Love died in September,1987. She was always a bright, curious, lovely lady. Unfortunately, her parents home burned down when she was at college, so that almost all of the pictures of her family were destroyed. This was one that a relative had received and was kind enough to send back to her parents after the fire. The later pictures of her family have disappeared. I will check with Myna to see if she remembers what happened to them. Mother was the second of 4 girls - Daddy Doc, as his grandchildren always called him, had been previously married and was a single parent raising a daughter, when he married my grandmother. Mother was quite a talented musician, she played the violin, piano, organ, and had a lovely voice. Mom had a delightful sense of humor, was a church going Baptist - however, certainly not a “strict Baptist” as she loved to dance, was an excellent bridge player, loved to travel, was very social,etc. and allowed us, her 3 daughters, all kinds of freedoms - to wear makeup, high heels, go to dances, read all the books we could get our hands on, and were allowed to go on dates at age 13. She went to Mary Hardin Baylor College in Texas majoring in music, followed by post graduate studies in violin at Julliard in NY city, and then accepted a job as a music teacher in Belzoni, MS where she met my father, Joseph Llewellyn Bain. Her music was always a major part of her life.
Love as a Young Child, oil on linen, 7 x 4 Â˝ inches 127
Keith, this is a remarkable photo that had to be taken before 1835!!!. It pictures Moses Reis (1770-1835) and Eleanor Saloman Reis (1777--1855) who lived in Auperney, France. According to Gram’s notes on the back of the photo, their daughter, Jeanette Reiss Mayer (1818-1883) immigrated to New Orleans at age 15, then moved to Natchez. This history is amplified in “Aunt Sister’s Book,” which you’ve seen in the past. Jeanette’s daughter was Caroline Mayer Weis (Mrs. Julian Weis - died in 1884). My mother was named after her. Caroline’s daughter was Retta Weis Godchaux (died in 1942), who was the mother of my grandmother “Gram.” So, if my math is correct, these folks are your and CR’s greatgreat-great-great great grandparents! If Gram’s notes are accurate, this photo must have been taken in the early days of photography. We used to think that Eleanor must have been a dour old lady, but then we figured that, back then, people didn’t smile for photos, and she probably had lost her teeth! So, again, more than you wanted to know! XO - Dad I can’t find auperney only eperney, france. Chaya Rivka Mayerson I think your math is spot on. Jeanette and John Mayer, the first American ancestor, arrived in New Orleans on the liner Taglione in 1833. I have always suspected that Jeanette was pregnant then but maybe not. John Mayer was born Mayer Levi but ran away to Paris to learn the cobbler’s trade and hide from his father so he changed his name to Jacob Mayer. They had 14 children; 11 became adults. Caroline married Julius not Julian Weis. Simon Weis, Julius’s son named his 75 foot yacht Taglione. Faulkner wrote a bad novel about my father’s literary group going cruising on Lake Pontchartrain on the Taglione. Called Mosquitos. Lots of stories. Also TMI. Joe (your send cousin twice removed, Keith Joseph E. Friend
Moses and Eleanor Saloman Reis, oil on linen, 7 x 10 Â˝ inches
1. I can’t believe this is a photo of Mom’s parents, but she swears it is. She figures it was when they were first married, with both in their 20’s (Love was born in 1906 and Daddy Lou in 1904 - they were married in 1929.). Looking younger than springtime. They had lost this breath of youth when I knew them. Of course, most people do look different as they age by at least 35 to 40 years - (Mom added this comment). 2. Michele about 3 and you about 6 mos. old, in Belzoni, being held by Sarah Singleton, the family cook and stable caretaker for many, many years. Mom’s best friend as a child. Sasa (what I called her) began work for my parents when she was 14 as Melite’s nurse. 3. You at a few months old, Michele maybe two, me as a proud young father, about 33 y/o. At the time, we were all living on Race St., backing on beautiful Cheeseman Park. 4. The setting was in New Orleans, with my very happy Dad holding happy baby Michele. 5. Me feeling at the top of my game serving as the Officer of the Deck (who guides the ship when on watch) on the USS Coral Sea. We were sailing in the Mediterranean Sea at the time. I was about 23 y/o and had the rank of a Lieutenant Junior Grade. 6. Same trip to Belzoni as in no. 2. Same child actors now being held by their beaming Grandmother, Love, who must have been 60 y/o (she was born in 1906), although she looks much younger. 7. Photo of my mother and her 4 closest friends growing up in NO. Looks like they were in some girls dress alike party in New Orleans. Next to Mother is David Henley’s mother, Dorothy, who much later on married and moved to LA. On her left is Clara May Friedlander, who lived her adult life in Boston. Next is Babette Marx. She continued to live in NO. Her daughter, Susan, was my age and a good friend. I forget who the next girl was. Mother remained good friends with these women all of her life. 8. Me about the same time and place as in no. 5. In addition to periodically standing watch as Officer of the Deck, my main job was being Communications Officer. However the person who really ran the Communications Dept. was a petty officer named McKinney, as I recall. There wasn’t a lot to do and we regularly enjoyed playing gin rummy. The microphone was for some great emergency, when we would call the ship’s Captain on the bridge. I don’t recall this ever happening! Good luck in getting this all done! - Dad
Scrapbook album, oil on linen, 10 ¼ x 14 ¼ inches
15 16 29
A 1 A 2 A 3 A 4 A 5 A 6 A 7 A 8 A 9 A 10 A 11 A 12 A 13 A 14 A 15 A 16 A 17 A 18 A 19
A 20 Iconscape 4, 2012 A 21 Iconscape 3, 2012 A 22 9-11, 2007 A 23 Imagine, 2004 A 24 Karmapa, 2004 A 25 Rubber Soul/John Lennon, 2003 A 26 What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye), 2005 A 27 His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 2007 A 28 Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Chile, 2005 A 29 King Kong, 2005 A 30 King Kong, 2004 A 31 Spiderman vs. Doc Ock, 2004 A 32 Bobby Kennedy/Roy Lichtenstein, 2013 A 33 Anne Frank at Her Desk, 2008 A 34 Rogue Wave and Stolt Surf, 2008 A 35 Good Rockin’ Tonight, 2005 A 36 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 2006 A 37 River & Keanu as Mike & Scott in My Own Private Idaho, 2006
Sleeper, 2011 Anne Frank’s Wall, 2007 Anne Frank’s Room, 2007 Sitting Bull, 2013 Annie Oakley, 2013 Abraham Lincoln, 2013 Andrew and I, 2013-14 Peanuts: Pictures to Color (Homage to Alicia), 2005 View of Empire from a Train, 2011 View of Liberty, 2012 River Phoenix, 2004 Keanu Dreaming, 2003 Frankenstein (IS 0036), 1997 Sullivan Street Madonna, 2002 Da Vinci Jesus, 2001 Michelangelo Crucifix, 2002 Spiderman on the Roof, 2002 Vertigo, 2002 Buddy (Robot Gorilla), 2004
B 21 B 22 B 23 B 24 B 25 B 26 B 27 B 28 B 29 B 30 B 31 B 32 B 33 B 34 B 35 B 36 B 37 B 38 B 39 B 40
B 1 The Alien and Andy Williams, 2005 B 2 Head Iconscape IS0029, 1997 B 3 Jesus Christ Superstar, 1995 B 4 MLK, 2005 B 5 Captain Marvel, 2005 B 6 Barack Obama, 2008 B 7 The Abduction of Ganymede (Rescued from Eagle’s Nest), 2006 B 8 Ali, 2007 B 9 Darby Crash, 2005 B 10 Elvis the King, 2006 B 11 The Unsinkable Katharine Hepburn, 2007 B 12 Rebel, 2005 B 13 Empire, 2010 B 14 Top of the Rock, 2012 B 15 Sky Over Fairmont, James Dean’s Hometown, 2012 B 16 The James Dean Family Farmhouse, 2011-2012 B 17 Iconscape 5, 2012 B 18 Gusher, 2005 B 19 James Dean Crash Site, 2005 B 20 Iconscape 1, 2012
James Dean Cemetery, 2012 Iconscape 2, 2012 Dorothy (Judy Garland), 2005 Times Square, 2011 Louise Bourgeois, 2008 Errol Flynn as Robin Hood, 2006 JFK/Stars and Stripes Forever, 2006 Flag, 2010 Elvis ‘56, 2006 Duck Soup (We’re Going to War!), 2008 Obama’s Night, 2012 Superman, 2004 The New Yorker, 2010 Jackie in Mourning, 2005 Red, 2010 Whale Ascending, 2007-8 Gone with the Schwinn, 2007 Two Oaks (Castles in the Sky), 2008 What Julian Sees, 1999 Untitled (Large Iconscape), 1997