Man on Bench with Groceries
1964-1965, Sculpture

“Wherever I was, particularly San Antonio, Boston, Austin, or finally Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which is where I majored in sculpture and printmaking, I always walked through the old parts of the city with my sketchbook, pens, and pencils and drew. As I walked through the streets, I observed many people, mostly poor, while they walked or sat on the benches that lined the sidewalks. Everyday people, who went about their lives, carried groceries or other belongings from place to place, or rested on a bench for a time. I found them fascinating and they became my primary subjects. So often, these seemingly lonely figures had a similar measured gait to their pace, as if they had a tough time moving forward or just getting around. They were not driving cars or waiting for rides, they had their own world in the city’s streets. For all of their poverty, they had a noble presence in their movements and expressions and it captured my heart and I captured their features on my page and tried to tell their story. Of my great influences, Rembrandt, in particular, found inspiration for his many drawings, etchings and paintings of these everyday people. I felt that it was up to me, as an artist, not to fixate on the grandiose, but to become a medium, to show their dignity and their story with the public through my work.”