1967-4-23 Letter To Shirley(BRLA) From Rockmore (33W67. NYC) - Feelings about other artist
Received papers and thanks - I already used the plums and apple engravings in the “Sorcerer” (enclosed shot) you can even see where on the table - I am rather lonely and sad tonight. A lousy Picasso blue period was sold for ½ million! in London and I have to struggle for a few thousand for the “Sorcerer”. (I could definitely use more color engraved fruit and flowers!)
I will, if your finances permit, send you every 3 or 4 mos. a book of watercolors for $500 - $550 - $600 per volume depending on how many sheets - an extra 500 every 3 mos. can really help me a lot so I will try and send the new one for $500 and 25 watercolors - in about 3 weeks -
The “Sorcerer” is a great painting and yet I can’t finish it easily - my direction is lonely and difficult for me - I am groping more than knowing what I am doing and sometimes this becomes depressing because of its insecurity and solution -
But I will never give up this direction - there is no return to the painting like Jazz etc.
I have learned to limp a different way -
The top-hat fig. is me as a child with a decal flame on my pointing finger - the central war figure is sort of my father dying and the whole rest of the composition is my dream walk in the eye of my night -
The whole composition is the solidest and wildest canvas on a large scale I have get done - the original is a real thrill to see -
You have no idea the preponderance of mediocrities here made important hacks who call themselves artists and on the other end of the spectrum pop and op and light bulbs -
No wonder I am lonely in my growingly complex direction!
The only living artist I admire is Hyman Bloom and (used to) Morris Graves -
The rest is shit - I am drinking too much and must get settled in 2 years or I won’t live to do the best work in me -
I will always appreciate your encouragement and help when I needed it and I am dedicating (next to the signature) my next major work to you in appreciation - it will be “Storyville” a nude based on a prostitute photo from an old rare glass plate print I have with New Orleans roofscape in background and a moon - it will be my farewell to New Orleans and will also be in the Nov show -
I will paint my frustration and sadness about New Orleans which I love and miss into this painting -
Also memories of Saki - San Francisco will not replace it - one last point Shirley -
My complete and final break with E. Lorenz Borenstien has resulted in works taking months instead of hours like the “Astrologer” 66x78", “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” 60x80 (unfinished as yet) and “The Sorcerer” 64x76" - 3 great large-scale works all done in N.Y. - think it over - I hope your troubles abate - you don’t deserve any - let me know what you think of the enclosed shot - look at it in the light of a strong lamp and you will see better -