Born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1949
Lives and works in Galisteo, New Mexico
'The paintings I make are often a direct result of my communication
with the model who might be male or female. In the case of Tefillin,the
model 'M' had been brought up in a small strict Swedenborgian community.
As a teenager, she rebelled, left the community, explored her own
bi‑sexuality and slowly discovered her liking for bondage and specific
role playing. She said that bondage allowed her to feel secure and
placed a defined border on the mysterious and often unsettling qualities
of intimate exchange with another person.
While talking with 'M' I started to think about the ritualized wrapping
that is part of various religious ceremonies and in particular the
Jewish ritual of wearing a phylactery when praying.The ritualized
constriction of a narrow leather strap, wrapped around the arm three
times, metaphorically binds the follower to God. The word 'tefillin'
in Hebrew means prayer. Women are not allowed to wear a phylactery.
I am interested in all ritualized forms of existing. I felt that
'M' hadn't really liberated herself from the constraints and confinement
under which she grew up, but had substituted a new restriction. At
the same time, in making the painting, I wanted to stress the self‑imposed
nature of bondage and to make a statement about the beauty of the
idea of binding oneself to spirit or God".
1999 OiL on canvas 82"x 42"
Courtesy of Turner Carroll Gallery