Joseph Solman 1909-2008
My last meeting with Joe. I was able to introduce Gary Kelley and Peter Cusack to Joe. Gary Kelley was the person who introduced me to Joe's work in 1996.
I first met Joseph Solman in April 2001, and have benefited from my visits with Joe in the subsequent years. I have learned so much from Joe, so much about art, so much about being true to your vision as an artist and person. He lived a full life, and is such an example to me of artistic integrity.
His wisdom is ingrained in my mind, and I think of him almost every time I draw from life.
In my last visit with Joe, he reminded me to “look for the unusual thing” in my subject matter. One other quote of his that has stuck with me is- “I find more design in nature than anything you can come up with in your mind.”
I will never forget that stories Joe shared with me in my visits with him. The stories of how Mark Rothko had changed his last name, how Ben Shahn recommended Joe to a mid-town Manhattan gallery sometime in the 1940s, that Madeline Albright had spent an afternoon in his East Village apartment looking over his work, and how Daniel Day Lewis approached him for painting lessons after having viewed his work in London. Joe was such a humble man, and he didn’t seem to let these sorts of things get to his head. He was all about painting, and he kept true to his vision to the end.
I hope that I can leave as great a legacy as Joe has. What a great man, and I am so grateful that I had the chance to meet such a great artist and person. I will miss him, but I will continue to learn from him.
Thank you Joe, for taking the time to meet me. Thank you for taking the time to teach me. I will always cherish the conversations we had.
Click here for my previous post on Joseph Solman. It explains how I met Joe…