I wonder how LeRoy Neiman, John Dillinger, Peter Fonda, Martina McBride, Cary Grant, Angelina Jolie, R. Crumb, Benjamin Netanyahu, Don Mattingly, Fran Drescher, Isaac Hayes, Hal Linden, Mark Spitz, Fidel Castro, Helen Keller, Buzz Aldrin, Lenny Bruce, Whitey Ford, Richard Simmons, H.G. Wells, Kurt Cobain, Teri Garr, Kermit the Frog, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert DeNiro, Michelangelo, Cleavon Little, Larry Bird, Bridgid Webster, Jack the Ripper, Mary Kate and Ashley, Joan of Arc, Barack Obama, Sir Paul McCartney, Sandy Koufax, Tiny Tim, M.C. Escher, Prince William, Larry Fine, Ben Franklin, Paul Klee, Rip Torn, Goldie Hawn, Seal, Jimi Hendrix, Ronald Reagan, Harpo Marx, Dan Aykroyd, Eminem, Judy Garland, Rock Hudson, Albert DeSalvo, W.C. Fields, Bill Walton, and Whoopie Goldberg have dealt with this left-handed phenomenon?
A little background on the Pink Ribbon picture. It was inspired and created back in 2008 when my wife, Magee was battling breast cancer. I used to break her chops because whenever she shopped, if there was an item with a pink ribbon on it she would buy it. No matter what it was. Motor oil, cheese, chewing gum, whatever. I would always say that she was a sucker for a pink ribbon. Anyway, when I completed this picture it only seemed right that I should name it “Sucker For A Pink Ribbon”.
On it goes and Magee found a lovely group of women at a local charity called Hewlett House, an advocate group for people battling all types of cancer. We decided that I would donate a print and that proceeds from the sales of any additional prints would go directly to them. I subsequently sold a few.
When it came time for the actual presentation to the president of Hewlett House, Geri Barrish (a three time cancer survivor and a wonderful woman) I had thought that the original title might be a bit offensive to some potential donators so I shortened it to “Pink Ribbon”. Ms. Barrish genuinely liked the picture, which hangs nicely in the 300 year old Hewlett House, but actually commented that the title lacked something. She, being the master fundraiser, came up with the idea of a renaming contest. So it went, at a local grammar school there was a contest which was won by a sweet little 3rd grade girl who came up with the name “Beads Of Love”.
I like it and every following print became Beads Of Love but it will always be Sucker For A Pink Ribbon to me.
There has been much controversy over many aspects of the former site of the World Trade Center since the heinous attacks in 2001. Some over the design of the new tower which was to be, and is now currently being erected on the sixteen acre site where many perished, including FDNY firefighters and Police Officers from Port Authority and my own NYPD. The current ongoing debate whether the remains of the unaccounted for victims being housed in the basement where the newly opened museum is located (next to the gift shop, I might add) is front page news. God bless the families of those lost.
I myself spent time on “the pile” and was subsequently assigned to be part of the Task Force investigating the biggest “crime” this country has ever seen during my time on The Job. A job that could somewhat numb you to emotions. For instance, just two months after September 11th there was a catastrophic airliner crash in Belle Harbor, Queens where all onboard and some on the ground were killed. We were rerouted to the crash scene not knowing if this was another terrorist attack. It was subsequently ruled a tragic accident. But at the scene, with the fires still burning and devastation on the ground I had run into a fellow detective that I had worked with years earlier and had not seen in quite a while. We hugged and chatted small talk for a minute or so when two men carrying a canvas body bag needed to get by in the path where we were standing. One of the officers carrying the bag said ,”Excuse us, guys”, so we both stepped aside continuing our small talk. Then it dawned on the two of us that they had just walked by carrying a poor soul lost on yet another tragic incident in this city and we still continued a lighthearted conversation without missing a beat. Maybe the numbness is what gets you through times like that.
I may be retired from that type of work but I still have strong feelings regarding those responsible for bringing ill-will to our shores but I mostly keep those feelings to myself, buried under the callouses of my soul.
As a way of perhaps healing these feelings deep inside I have decided to celebrate the new, the Phoenix which has risen out of the rubble. I know that those who have lost loved ones will never be able to accept the politics and unfairness of some decisions made on their behalf. I hope over time their pain is numbed.
Above is an unfinished rendering of one of series of four pictures I am creating of the Freedom Tower.
God Bless NYC and God Bless America.