Monday, July 11, 2016


Click on photos to see them enlarged

Diary 1935-36 closed book

Gerhard and Else at the Beach, July 1935

Gerhard and Else Rowing in July, 1935

Today I found a beautiful diary of delicate sketches from 1934-36, in which my father Gerhard Graupe chronicles his day-to-day moments with my mother Else while they were still living respectively in Berlin and Rheda (small town in Westphalia), under the Third Reich,  just before my father fled Nazi Germany on a ship to Rio De Janeiro in 1936 in an attempt to get affidavits and visas for himself, his parents and my mother to come to the USA.

Visits and seeing PYGMALION September and October 1935

At the movies seeing IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT in October 1935

High Holy Days October 1935

Else weeping December 1935

Embrace - notice the ring! December 1935

Under a Light in January 1936 walking and seeing the movie David Copperfield

Preparing to say goodbye, January 10, 1936

Goodbye at train station - January 1936

He spent 2 years living illegally in Rio, engaged to my mother, an attachment that never faltered - until he finally succeeded in getting the papers in 1938. Tragically he was unable to save his parents who died in the Concentration Camps in Theresienstadt.

My parents got married in NYC in 1938.

I also include my own visual diary of my mother while sitting at her bedside in Calvary Hospice drawing her every day for a month. She died on January 7, 2007.

Drawings in Calvary Hospice, 2006/07

Saturday, July 2, 2016



It's kinda fun having friends in a big group show, you occasionally hear aboustirrings behind the scenes. Seems that in The Female Gaze: Women look aMen, Part 2, now up (but not Sats) at Cheim and Read, Grace Graupe·Pillard's Dillon (2016), in addition to Sarah Lucas's White Nob, is garnering lots of selfie love from visitors. Artforum has posted a short shout out to the show on its website, and Hannah Stamler surprised me by comparing the pic to another work, "Others catch them in private moments of sleep or self-love, both literal and figurative, as in Grace Graupe·Pillard's painting of a young artist mid iPhone selfie, hand curled in a manner that recalls Durer's Self·Portrait in Fur Coat, 1500". The fun thing here for me is that I saw that the tattoo on Dillon was Durer's Praying Hands, placed on a chest this is clearly a good luck charm. But I missed the other Durer connection. However, it makes some sense. He's making one of those strange gestures that we all know but can't define (I was intrigued the other night at Blue, a great sushi place in town, when the sushi chef served us himself, and made a proud papa gesturpointing on what was what, with his index and middle finger together, you ALknow that hipster gesture). Anyways. If Durer's Portrait in Fur Coat link has some traction, that gesture in that picture is not simply a blessing. It is a variation on a well known trope of Renaissance portraiture. It is called the pseudozygodactylous gesture. Pseudo because men of creativity and patrons and benefactors basically borrowed from the female portrait, mainly of the Virgin Mary, the breastfeeding expression gesture (see comments below). thzygodactylous gesture, to express their creativity and beneficence. Dillon's gesture has a soft gender-bending nature of that sort, but placed in front of the praying hands it is like it is also saying, the love is over there, in the selfie.Very intriguing selfie. By the way, no surprise to me, when Graupe·Pillard does portraits, most of time it is all about the hands.

Pictures: Dillon, Grace Graupe Pillard; Durer Praying Hand; Durer, Portrait witFur Coat (1500). El Greco El Caballaro portrait reps pesudozygdactylous gesture; Durer version; back to Dillon. Some connection here

Robert Mahoney July 2, 2016





Dillon: Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man, oil/alkyd/wood, 2016

This painting is that of an unusually beautiful young man named DillonHere is a picture that can only be described as high voltage, a sensational rendering of a young Adonis that burns with an erotic  heat that shocks the eyeThrough a graceful rendering of the fine musculature of Dillon's athletic bodyGraupe-Pillard's depiction of this youthful man oozes sensuality in an almost startling way. You just can't look away from it.

A golden  skin coloration goes beyond  natural flesh tones to become almost otherworldly, thus adding  to the superior sexiness of the subject. Indeed, the entire painting benefits from high intensity color, such as a seductive opaque creamy  green  that acts as the backdrop for a human rendering that virtually pops out from its flat surfaceThese exceptional visual qualities came through not only in reproductions but in person as well. Here in a physical  room the portrayal of angelic "Dillon" becomes an almost  tangible being existing on a magical plane of existence, as if one could reach in and touch him; not exactly  in a lustful manne but as a type of longing to grasp onto that whic is essentially ineffable.

Thus "Dillon" acts as an unexpected homage to youth and brings about the very real acceptance one must have of the very true fact that youth and beauty are eventually fading. Some of the physical appeal of the portrait comes from a human being's sentimental longing for those bygone times and a remembrance of one being in their teens and twenties when they feel almost immortal. Yet at the same time there exists a barrier to the audience  as this young man stretches his forearm close to the edge of the canvas, which in an exhilarating way in real time and space, almost emits pheromones.

Dillon, in a reflection of the times in which he is painted, holds out into space an iPhone to take a selfie a pervasive element of our society which allows people to capture passing moments of their lives  with great clarity. What is unique here is that Dillon never looks at the painter, nor the audienceInstead he is gazing at his own face, almost like Narcissus looking at his own reflection. It is a completely innocent yet ubiquitous gesture  in our "self"oriented society where, through  this casual yet powerful technology, people get lost in their own passing images, especially the beautiful ones like Graupe-Pillard's almost naive and gorgeous subject. He is all too real, after all.

Jude Schwendenwien

The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look At Men
June 23- September 2, 2016
Summer Hours: . Tues-Fri  10-6 and Fri.10-4

Cheim & Read Gallery, 547 W. 25th St., NYC