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Ed Stitt

Paintings & Drawings

My First 40 Years

   Faculty Men’s Room Still Life    1987 oil on linen    22x26” (Private Collection)

I saw this ready-made still life whenever I used the faculty men’s room.  
I began using the faculty men’s room after an awkward incident in the student bathroom on the second floor of my studio building. There were three stalls in the student bathroom. I would use the second one because the end one was for handicapped people. There was a hole, about an inch and a half in diameter, in the marble wall between my stall and the end one.  Above that hole it said something to the effect of, “For a good time, meet me here Tuesdays after lunch.”  One day when I was using the middle stall, someone got in the end one, the one where the hole was. I noticed odd moving shadows on the floor and sounds next to me when I realized it was Tuesday after lunch! “Oh, Shit!” I exclaimed, and then noticed what looked like an EYE at the hole… I left as abruptly as I could, wanting no business with this, but noticed as I washed my hands at the basin that someone was peeking at me over the stall!  I never used that bathroom again.  
Mass Art was an old conglomeration of buildings, with many interesting rooms and architectural spaces. As a grad student, I was allowed to use the (cleaner) faculty men’s rooms. In it I found this lovely tableaux of items above where we washed our hands. Could I make a painting shine as well as that Ajax can?  It was so simple, so plebeian.  Yet it shone so importantly above the sink.   It was worth a try.