Fresh out of art school, my first job was working for the painter Robert Motherwell as an assistant in his print studio. One lunch, in his converted carriage house operation, he was talking about living in the east end of Long Island, New York in his Quonset hut in the 1950's. Amongst his painter friends, he was the one who owned a car and once a week, he would pick them up: Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Willem de Kooning, to go to the local A&P to do their grocery shopping. Describing the scene, he commented that Lee Krasner, Pollock's wife was a homely looking woman. I looked at him across the table and wondered if he had noticed, I just cut my hair to look like Lee Krasner. A young artist searching for identity, I thought if I looked like her, perhaps I could become her. Sometimes the decision to live a creative life takes you to places others may think uninhabitable. Signing a lease on space with no heat, deploying creative plumbing solutions and putting together a makeshift kitchen, are all part of "setting up camp" to live and work. Roberta's in Brooklyn is a wonderful reminder of those choices. Not cooks, but rather a group of musicians and bartenders who decided to open a pizza shop in a cinder block warehouse. With a wood fire oven imported from Italy and rooftop garden "lab", these creative souls found their way to exquisite flavors and combinations matched by no other. A bit like being in the Wild West, its Bushwick location and low rent afforded creative license to do it the way they wanted. Tables with benches, outdoor Christmas lights, cast iron wood stove heating and cocktails served in Mason jars all contribute to its transformative dining experience. Their just released cookbook takes you there with documentary-style pictures, text and of course, the recipes - move over Moosewood. In 1996, Richard Bosman was commissioned to make a woodcut print of the Brooklyn Bridge and hired me as the printmaker for the project. For the image, he wanted the surface of the wood blocks to have a lot of character. Having searched all the lumberyards, he showed up at my print studio with the scrappiest, most splintery plywood he could find and began to carve. Image complete and time to print, the low grade boards began to curl. Panicking, I glued the blocks to thick Masonite and managed to get them through the press. The desired effects achieved, the night sky came alive.
Available for sale by clicking the images below.