Lincoln Remembers, 2001 Oil on Linen (with two parts) 36 × 29 inches
Lincoln Remembers, 2001
Oil on Linen (with two parts) 36 × 29 inches

One of the earliest works in this show, I originally created this for the Hamlet 1999 series, where Lincoln was Hamlet’s father’s Ghost, coming back to have Hamlet seek his revenge, and to also give him the advice of an old sage, like in a Joseph Campbell "Heroes’ Journey." Originally I created this when I first came back to New York after exiling myself from the Art World. We had moved to Andrew’s grandfather’s cabin in Riverside, California, and Lincoln’s cabin home reminds me exactly of our place when regarded from a certain view in its blighted neighborhood. I painted this when Andrew was still back in California, and NYU where I taught gave me a small studio in which to paint, and I would go there from my tiny one-room apartment to create work and hope and dream of finding a place for us once again. Lincoln was one of the greatest heroes of all time, rumored to be gay or at least have gay affairs, and when you look at the old photos of him he still seems to be alive and speaking through the ancient image. I was in a melancholic mood when I painted this, but in hopeful spirits, hoping that moving there (and moving myself out of the art world) hadn’t been a mistake, and hoping that Andrew and I could be back together, missing him as I was painting alone in Gotham wishing I could be back with him in our secluded cabin utopic home.