The stories of this picture go
on and on. It's generational.
I held the image in my mind for 10 years, from the time in
the 1980's when for the first time a close friend died of
AIDS. I had been touched by the rallying of the community
of friends, all Volunteers in the '60's, who had drifted apart
by then. I finally made the painting shortly before a silent-meditation
retreat in New Mexico, where I found myself at Los Alamos/Bandalier
on the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on
When I returned to my studio I found that I'd painted the
landscape of that part of the world before having gone there.
That bomb and Hap were both born in the 1940's, I was born
in the 1950's, said Community in the 1960's, AIDS in the 1970's,
the depicted events in the 1980's... and the painting made
in the 1990's.
In the Landscape version, the dying
man is the Los Alamos installation, his comforter the ancient
Anasazi land surrounding it which is now called Bandalier
National Monument (park) and up around Taos are the folks
at the table: conferring... under artificial light