9/11/09 Al Phillip’s “Passage”

"Passage" 72"x79", o/c

"Passage" 72"x79", o/c

9/11/09Al Phillips RIP

My friend Al Phillips died on 7/11/09 of a heart attack at age 49.  I really miss him. I ‘ve been thinking about him while I paint in East Saint Louis especially since he did a lot of work here creating the Katherine Dunham Museum.  He hated how forgotten East Saint Louis has become especially having spawned so many great artists.  I chose to paint a resting place/mausoleum with a casket-shape in the foreground in remembrance of Phillips.  He would have liked to be buried here.  This painting Fondaw named “Passage”.   I thought it was finished last month but after living with it, realized it wasn’t so I brought it back to the site today to work on some more. Works this year all seem to be about death-I spent the fall painting in a graveyard and my landscapes have been overgrown and buried. I have encountered quite a bit of death lately. I could be still mourning my mother’s death and my father’s eminent departure (almost died twice this past July).  Or perhaps, maybe I’m feeling old and mourning my youth.  I didn’t know I was getting old until my eyesight, hearing and knees started going.

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