For a decade I painted an urban, man-made world, where man, mysteriously, did not appear.

Spring 1976
"A painting in which there are humans is a temporary vision. In the next moment anything is possible for the individual, but not for the solid objects."


acrylic on canvas ©1975

"Human beings are not solid and permanent as a cup, or a piece of wood. They are free and changing. How, then, can they ever be pinned down and represented? I represent humans one way, and the objects of their situation in another. The objects may be known. I render them with care and detail. The human cannot be known, and must be abstracted.

I want everything to be a solid object. I paint buildings. Bricks are heavy, really heavy. There are no human beings present. The isolated building becomes a kind of inner self. Who lives there? I guess. I make up stories.
I write. I use words to delineate my experience. I consciously act out various roles and play out my life as theater. This opens possibilities. I watch from across the room.

Velasquez at the Prado


with Velasquez at the Prado

Painting from experience results in a mix of these two places. Applying American style to Spanish sensibility I attempt to enclose the paradox into one body of work, one personality.

with my self-portrait

with my self-portrait, 1974

I was born in New York City.

Both sets of grandparents were from Santander, Spain, but lived most of their lives in the USA. My father's parents retired and returned. Twice, at ages 2 and 6, my parents and I set sail with the big black trunks to spend a year in Spain.

Santander, Spain

Often I had been lonely there, listening for the gate. Sometimes it would be Joseline, a child midget, to play and sing a Spanish ballad with a big voice and dramatic gestures.

I attended the one-room school for a while, where I mostly learned math, requiring little knowledge of the language.

I would only speak Spanish to children, behind the playroom door.


my American-style Halloween party in Spain

(I'm the angel)

with Buddy Leber


with Buddy Leber

When we returned to the USA my parents and I lived in an attic apartment in East Orange, New Jersey. My father worked in Newark as a mechanical designer. After the second trip, we moved into an apartment above the barbershop on the same block as before.

All my rich experiences traveling around Spain, France and Portugal were kept almost as private secrets-inexplicable on the playground to my city friends. Agatha had gotten tight with Rita in my absence. They had Nifty notebooks and hoola hoops (broken in garages now)—items I'd missed out on during my year away.

I still played with Buddy, but he was a boy, went to Catholic school, and didn't exactly agree that cleaning his grandfather's hardware store sidewalk cracks with a nail borrowed from the bins was valuable civic service.

So I was back to amusing myself.