MERMAID EATS ARTIST
If I’d wanted my work to be about me, I would have been an actor. Instead, I’ve always had this fantasy that I could have a dinner party without even showing up, that I’d make all the food and hang up some paintings and everyone could just have a lovely time without me. I even made a whole series of paintings called Invisible Self-Portraits, where all you see is the camera flash obscuring my photographed image in the mirror. They’re basically anti-self-portraits.
So the fact that I’m not totally visible in my photograph for this book is no surprise. We took a lot of images of me in my studio hiding behind panels of The Mermaid: Two Incompatible Systems Intimately Linked (my 100 x 10 ft (30.4 x 3.04 m) painting of a diagonal slice of Florida, oriented so that half of the painting is of a satellite view of the natural landscape of the Everglades National Park and the other half is of the adjacent greater Miami area, ending with Miami Beach). I thought we’d end up with a photograph of me hiding in the man-made portion of the landscape but I ended up in the natural section instead, romantic that I am. And while I was seriously tempted by a photograph where only my feet were visible, I found myself choosing a photograph where you can actually see my face. I think you can tell that we had all been laughing for quite a while by then.
So this is me. Only sort-of hiding. Which was a surprise.