Nine years ago today, at this time (it is now 8:46 am eastern time) I was fast asleep in my bed in South Pasadena, California, when the World Trade Centers were being attacked. My mother called and woke me up at around 8 am west coast time and I immediately turned on the television. I was overwhelmed with a sadness like I had never felt, and through my tears went out to my studio and worked on the following painting:
It is oil on un-stretched canvas, 58 x 120 inches. I had begun the piece a day or so earlier, in sanguine pencil – a goat-herder, his wife and a couple of goats. It was part of my Lands and Peoples series, and was at the time that I was just beginning to bring the abstract biomorphic patterns into the paintings. My feelings and thoughts on that day and the following days were consumed with the losses of so many, that overwhelming sadness, and a sure feeling that I, too, was to be devoured in flames. And at night as the fighter jets circled the city low overhead, I lay in bed drifting in and out of sleep, as all the thoughts, feelings and images flooded my consciousness (and most probably also my subconscious and unconscious). I thought about how we got here, how fragile and at the same time resilient it all is. I thought about primordial oceans.