Rubber Soul/John Lennon, 2003 Oil on linen 28 × 20 inches
Rubber Soul/John Lennon, 2003
Oil on linen 28 × 20 inches

This early painting in the show I did when we lived in Soho, in a tiny apartment that we lived in upon our return to New York. Working here I had to paint from photos again instead of en pleine air as I had in our cabin, and I decided to create works surrounding a sci-fi homoerotic screenplay I had written while in California called Hamlet 1999. This was from this series, that was hung salon-style around our place, like living in a storyboard of paintings. John Lennon was one of the people I employed in my "star system" to play the Ghost of Hamlet, Hamlet’s father, who begs him to right the wrongs of Elsinore. I have done many paintings of John Lennon, and he always gives me hope, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to listen to his music and that of the Beatles, some of the greatest music of all time that is filled with love. I grew up with Rubber Soul, one of the best albums of all time, as my sister was named Michele, and my folks had the album with her song on it as one of the only Beatles albums in their collection. I would listen to it again and again, and stare into the incredible cover and back cover, wondering and fantasizing about the Beatles, and love this period of theirs, and the photoshoots they did around the album, which have incredible "60’s" colors and a romantic, wanton look that sends me. Painting this work I would regress to my childhood, but also channel John, wondering what he would say in the Bush era post-9-11, hopefully he would be filled with hope, and good messages of Peace and Love, with a bit of wry criticality to the politics of our culture, which weren’t too different than in his time.