John Updike died yesterday. Along with Andrew Wyeth, who died last week, he takes with him one of the great American voices of the 20th century. I read a fair amount of what Updike wrote - I enjoyed "Run, Rabbit, Run" in particular - but I can't say that I'm any kind of authority on his work. I always saw a kind of kinship in the approaches of Updike and Wyeth in their stark verisimilitude, cold sexulality, and amazing technique. I also see a bond in their timing here: Just as the last vestiges of the American Century are going down in flames two of it's artistic giants bail out.
I did this portrait of Updike a couple of years ago for an alternative weekly. As I recall, the angle of the story was that Updike was a Renaissance man. Or something like that.
Laura L. January 28, 2009
Dale, that's a terrific portrait!
Drew Friedman January 28, 2009
Ditto, terrific, and now moving.
Joe Ciardiello January 28, 2009
Really nice portrait Dale.
Tim OBrien January 29, 2009
IS that cracks I see?
Nice one Dale. I like his collar.
Zina Saunders January 29, 2009
Another super John Updike on the front page!
John Dykes January 29, 2009
Yes crackle alert... very nice.
Run, Rabbit, Run one of my favorites.... there are passages in Updike's work I find myself reading over and over cause he nails particular situations so precisely...
Dale Stephanos January 29, 2009
Thanks everybody. Yes, those are cracks! The piece seemed to call for it. It was fun to try and figure out how to pull it off. I think I took a piece of illustration board and put crackle varnish on it then wiped it down with a brownish oil wash then scanned that and proceeded with some layer shennanigans.
Cathleen Toelke January 29, 2009
This is a beauty, very appropriately distinguished in expression and palette.
Chris Buzelli January 29, 2009
Another great portrait. I really like when you just concentrate on the face, especially the eyes. Very sculptural.