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"Sept 11 2001 Panel 3 detail"

This triptych was painted the night of that terrible day. I was overwhelmed by it all. After being "glued" to the television all day long, my system felt overloaded with all these different emotions. I did not want to call anyone because I was sure they were going through the same thing. But I needed to do something to release all the tension and mixed feelings bottled up inside of me. So I painted. Not to produce art, but instead to use art therapeutically to help me personally cope with this tragedy.

In preparing my solo exhibition "Recapitulations", I had selected a drawing from 1969 titled "Agony" to do a contemporary version from, but had left it out, thinking it was too gruesomely strong and macabre. I found myself pulling it out again that fateful night when I was confronted with the blank canvas of this triptych. I knew I did not want to deal with aesthetics to produce something of beauty. How could I, there was no beauty in what I had witnessed? I wanted to capture the ghastly power of "Agony", because that was what I had experienced with all the rage, repulsion, sadness, grief, anxiety, worry, concern, and dismay.

In a mournful way, depressed and confused, I picked up the brush loaded with paint and approached the void in front of me. Only being guided by a small drawing of a tormented face and not having a clue as to what I would paint, I started to literally attack the pristine surface of the canvas. Crying at times, I wanted my mark making to bring me back to some level of sanity because the pressure of the insanity I had just witnessed was too much to bear.


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