Andrew and the pups at the pool, 2011 Oil on linen 30 × 22 inches
Andrew and the pups at the pool, 2011
Oil on linen 30 × 22 inches

The personal is political, and I’m learning this the more that I paint through my life. I love Manet, who painted his world in such a smart manner that although many of his images are of his life and his friends, the way he set up his images feels both natural and conceptual, realizing the little moments can be loaded with such meaning that the painterly can come out in a considered, intelligent way that relates not just to one’s personal life and environment, but could also behold universal conceits and ideas. In any event, this is my husband Andrew, at our new pool that we bought for ourselves for our 45th birthday, at our extremely humble cabin in Riverside county, his working Latino grandfather’s place that he always wanted to live in, where he always wanted to have a pool. I finally caved in, and although we are still paying for it, we love it, as there is 120 degree heat and we spend our summer days that we are there down by the pool and have had some of the happiest, "perfect" moments of our later years there. And on top of Andrew are our two dogs, Rosa, who just recently passed away (the apricot poodle) and Michelangelo, the little grey guy who is very much in our lives and the apple of our eye. I’m holding onto the raft with my hand that has the marriage ring on it, connecting to my husband who has his foot on mine—we make a strange, one bodied creature with many armatures in the process. Behind Andrew is the beautiful place we call home, and I guess the Tex of the raft represents the country for me. While sequestered away in our NYC apartment we often yearn for the great outdoors of our California humble utopia, and painting through the image I can think about the perfect moment of our life, feeling the love for my own nuclear family, which hopefully has gender identity politics embedded into a scene that is the most perfectly natural I can think of.