Saturday, June 8, 2013


I've been busy over the Spring, and managed to finish (for the time being until I decide to go back into it) another painting from the Wojnarowicz series that I started around New Year's.  The painting is called David's Dad, and it is about his violent alcoholic father and his refuge from an abusive childhood home.  David Wojnarowicz loved pond and creek critters, as did I when I was a kid.  I show him holding one of his favorite critters, a green snake.

These are all my pictures, so don't blame Steve Bates for a lapse in quality.

I recently finished some drawings of what I will be working on over the summer.

The first is a drawing for a painting I will call Hustled, about Wojnarowicz's many dangerous encounters as a hustler (though he also met some men whom he genuinely loved and who took care of him).

This is the composition I've arrived at after more than a dozen attempts to figure out something that I liked.

The next one I will call Painting Fire, another painting showing David with his work, or at least with my version of his work, again set in the long ago demolished Westside piers.

And finally a drawing for a painting I will call The Lazaretto.  A lazaretto is a quarantine hospital in a port city.  The first were created in Venice in the 14th century in the years following the Black Death.  The first lazaretto in the USA (still standing though no longer used) is in Philadelphia.
This is based on a collaborative work David did with other artists near the end of his life.  It was an installation piece about the rejection, neglect, and isolation that AIDS victims felt at the time.  I intend to do something based on that idea.   I plan for this painting to be the only one in the series in which David does not appear.

The finished paintings may not exactly resemble these drawings, but I think they are all a place to start.

I have more paintings in mind about David's work in ACT-UP, about his meditations on love and death, and more about him as an artist.  I'm still trying to figure out how to end the series.  I have some ideas in mind, though I haven't decided.


JCF said...

Wonderful work, Doug. Can't wait to see the paintings take shape from the sketches!

Kittredge Cherry said...

Wow, these are great! I have also loved creek creatures since childhood, especially toads and tadpoles. Did you see that "Fire in the Belly," Cynthia Carr's bio of Wojnarowicz, won the Lambda Literary Award for best Memoir/Biography?

Leonard said...

Splendid direction (thanks for taking us along).

Counterlight said...

No I didn't know Cynthia Carr's book won the Lambda. Well deserved, a great biography and the best book I've read so far on that whole East Village community of the late 1970s and 1980s.

June Butler said...

Very fine work, Doug. The painting is excellent. I like the way you highlight the different parts. I don't look carefully enough at art, as my reaction is more emotional, from the soul, than anything else. Of late, I've tried to observe more closely, and I like that you make me do it with your work.