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John Updike

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.
Crackle alert!