JANUARY 28, 2009
John Updike died yesterday. Along with Andrew Wyeth, who died last week, he takes with him one of the great American voices of the 20th century. I read a fair amount of what Updike wrote - I enjoyed "Run, Rabbit, Run" in particular - but I can't say that I'm any kind of authority on his work. I always saw a kind of kinship in the approaches of Updike and Wyeth in their stark verisimilitude, cold sexulality, and amazing technique. I also see a bond in their timing here: Just as the last vestiges of the American Century are going down in flames two of it's artistic giants bail out.
I did this portrait of Updike a couple of years ago for an alternative weekly. As I recall, the angle of the story was that Updike was a Renaissance man. Or something like that.