1970-1975  
NEW YORK  

My work came into its own when I lived in New York City in the early seventies. I was poor. I had scuttled from country to country all my life. In New York, where most people are not from New York, I began painting about where I was, not who or what I was. My work was about being somewhere as opposed to being everywhere or nowhere. It was about grounding myself and easing my sense of ceaseless displacement. No matter what happens, I told myself, I have my shoes, they are my real home. I painted them. I also painted grey, grainy, arid landscapes, where I staked out my homestead with posts. I used my face as a landscape too, for that was a place that was surely mine. And I painted my few tools since they were my only possessions, and they defined me.

To save money on storage space, transport and stretchers, I painted on unstretched, primed canvas, and only stretched the works on site for exhibitions. Thus my relationship to my canvases was intimate and fluid, like my relationship to my clothes and my skin. The absence of the stretcher was liberating. It brought me closer to the painting. The hands-on approach allowed such oddities as rolling, folding, or even crumpling the canvas and offered me a wider spectrum of techniques.