In 1995 Roy Lichtenstein Was in Southampton Signing Papers to Add to His Enormous Fortune. I Was in a Tree in Oswego Asking My Future Wife For a First Date

1995Low
2019. Oil on wood panel, 11 x 14″

The 20th century was very good to me. I became an aristocrat of the spirit. I did not get rich making rich people richer. I stayed poor on purpose buying time and selling thoughts. There are moments these days while diving into the Lichtenstein history when I feel very sad for the nice man that fame attached itself to. Lucky people discover along the way that love and health (physical and mental) is everything that matters. Love of life, a woman, man, a child, and nature is the only meaningful means to an end. Career and its money are vehicles to take you back and forth to love. Attach yourself to the vehicle and wind up truly loveless and making paintings for sale.

There are a thousand reasons why artists fail financially, yet only one reason to remain an artist. Certainly Roy understood this at some point in his life. Art for gain is a runaway train. A very bad choice of vehicle. I paint every day but I would never work like Roy Lichtenstein if it kept luring me away from the holy tree limb of August, 1995.

I am a financial failure, which alone does not make me a successful artist. Stop by my studio on a golden autumn day. Ask me what’s for dinner and whom do I love. You’ll determine very quickly that expression is much more than visual art hard copies. I got more of it than any Roy Lichtenstein could daydream while meeting with a banker to set up another trust. The art is better too, in meaning and passion. Roy got famous and rich because unloved people made love to his paintings in an elite society that writhed and wrinkled inside its own celebrity orgies. All of those manufactured movements of high fashion meaninglessness must have made him so sick and sad.

And lonely.

Making art for the rich and unloved is no way to make life lovable. Roy’s little art blip in time famously made no single life richer in meaning. I just hope he made waffles for his boys on Saturdays, and always, no matter under what pressure, gave up his time for their time.

Otherwise art is useless like garbage collecting and stock portfolio management, which is fine if you’re an aristocrat of the spirit.

Only Roy would know that.

And dead men tell no tales.