My First 40 Years
Faculty Men’s Room Still Life 1987 oil on linen 22x26” (Private Collection)
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.