Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Friend Writes...

Regarding my intention to immortalize Dick Grasso, a friend writes, in part:
Now, about Richard Grasso . . . without doubt one of the most egregious
offenders in the pantheon of recent white collar sleaze meisters. He
single handedly distorted (and almost destroyed) one of the most
already-manipulated tools in the world of executive compensation - - the
peer group comparison. By insisting that his pay be based on
comparisons to the captains of mega-industies completely different in
scale, mission and output than his own employer, he succeeded in [establishing] a
hideous and in hindsight, ridiculous peer group [comparison] that hopefully he will
now be required to renounce and base his restitution on.

I would like to state, for the record, that I'm not making judgments about the guy--I'm just painting him. And that I use the word "immortalize" in a non-prejudicial manner.

It does delight me, however, that my pending subject arouses so much passion. I suppose should explain that the idea behind painting Grasso has been bubbling around in my head for some time. Another friend has said to me on a number of occasions that I need to find my Greenspan.

This is a reference to painter Erin Crowe's now famous renditions of former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. This would be one of them:

So I've been chewing on this a bit, and finally, when I ran across the picture of Grasso shown in the previous post, I said "Ah--this bad boy is my Greenspan."

The use of the phrase "bad boy" here is apparently both literal and metaphorical. Certainly painting Grasso appeals to my dark and twisty nature.

Plus, I also can't stop thinking about those eyes. If you double click the black and white image from the previous post, look closely at the elegant wave shape that defines both the top of his left eye and the wrinkle that then swoops triumphantly toward his temple.

Is this the eye of a criminal?

I'll know better when I paint it, but let's not ignore one of the fundamental concepts of our judicial system--that business about being innocent until something bad happens.

I should also add that Ms. Crowe is a University of Virginia graduate (as am I). You can visit what I take to be a site devoted to her Greenspan paintings by clicking here. My understanding is that the paintings themselves are long gone, but I do see a place to click through to buy prints.

Tell her the Mad Portrait Artist of 7th Avenue sent you.


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