Prague to New York to Prague

 

In 1904 my family moved from Bohemia to New York where my great-grandfather had been offered a job as a cabinet maker at the Steinway Piano factory in Queens.

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Back in Prague a hundred and ten years later

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beauty and fantasy are still part of everyday life.

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The main square

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the Charles Bridge by moonlight

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In an ancient city where modern life proceeds as usual

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there are new museums and galleries.

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At the Prague National Gallery interactive artwork

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bends reality…

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However…

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19th century Czech painting has a very dark side.

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Back in New York City an entirely different aesthetic.

 

FACES

Do I know you??

I did this painting titled “Portrait”.  It’s sort of strange in that it is quite difficult to decide if it’s male or female,young or old.  Just recognizable as a person. With no identity.

People in certain pictures have unmistakable identities even when you haven’t seen them in fifty years
my grandfather

Some I’ve never met but have come to know them very well by painting them

Werner Heisenberg

Sometimes the portrait reflects the personality of the person

Some are hidden from identification




While other escape our notice


Even in a quick sketch the human form is the most interesting subject




and the variety endless


Ideas

………and how they arrive

      Waking up one morning and in that time of suspended animation before reality comes into sharp focus, I had an idea. A complete idea that was somewhat complicated. I had to buy a red ribbon and  take photos of it falling to the ground, then do paintings of  the results.


Sleep I

Sleep II

                                It wasn’t until after I finished two versions that I realized it was simply about sleep.

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              I always enjoy painting things that cannot be seen.  Like painting light streaking by on the highway.



Light



or out a train window
or a subway

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                                                            I have a bad leg and often trip and fall at the beach.



Falling

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No matter how distant, unclear or in what language , physiologically hearing is attuned to the human voice. I wonder if something similar  exists for vision.



Modern Moroccans

Heisenberg

Real / Abstract

All the new apartments in New York city have one thing in common , clean lines. I decided to do a painting of a wall in our old house in Marrakech.A simple realistic picture of light on a white plaster wall. A 500 year old mud brick riad has no straight walls or square corners. I thought this would be an easy painting but…….

the first attempt was a disaster – It looked like cheap wall paper in an Earls Court bedsit

try again

this time I used a trowel to apply the paint

it was beginning to look like the real thing, sort of real abstract

Add a couple of lines for cracks and it looked even better

some shadows and it was finished “Marrakech shadow wall ” on paper

another real abstract on paper  “64-11”

“I don’t know why I never painted an abstract painting . It’s so easy” Andy Warhol

From Marrakech to Sidi Ifni

Kotoubia-Marrakech 
Cyberpark- Marrakech
Bahia Palace- Marrakech
the road to Essaouira 
Essaouira souk
the mud brick walls in Tiznit
a fruit stall -Tiznit medina
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Sidi Ifni – medina Xanadu Maison d’hotes

the town square at Sidi Ifni
the Atlantic coast- Sidi Ifni
the dome at right is a Qouba the tomb of Ifni