Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coconut Club

Coconut Club
20" x 24"     oil on linen     2013
Private Collection, Florida

The idea for this painting came from a visit to Mizner's Monkey Bar in Boca Raton, Florida, four and a half years ago. Laura and I were in town for the opening of my retrospective at the Museum and the bar was in our hotel. The decor intrigued me and we stopped by for a drink, together with a dear friend of ours, Annie. Here's a photo of the place and of the quick sketch I made that evening:

Mizner's Monkey Bar
Boca Raton Resort and Club
Annie at the Monkey Bar
3" x 4 1/2"     17 March 2009     pencil on paper

I liked the composition and pinned the sketch to my drawing wall when I returned to the studio. I'm not sure why it took so long before I actually got around to making the painting, but then it's always been an enigmatic process. Some ideas move along fairly quickly, others percolate a few months or a year, and my most recent large painting, Interior at Night, was on my mind for forty years.

In late July, the sketch finally received my full attention; two weeks and four drawings later, the composition and the size were settled. I didn't make any significant changes to the initial concept, and always had a strong sense that the background would be a harmony of red and orange tones, energized by the one cool note of the dress.

Below is one of the drawings for the painting:

Coconut Club
16" x 20"     5 August 2013     pencil on paper with pastel tone on reverse


  1. Beautiful painting, calm and intriguing balance.

  2. Andrew, I love Coconut Club! The triangular composition is wonderful. And the monkeys are my faves ever since my monkey ran away to sell vacuum cleaners!

  3. I love this painting. There is a dreamlike, enigmatic feeling about it. The faces behind, still and immutable, as if watching from the trees, the smell of earth and leaf-mould in the air. The face in the front, seemingly impassive, but with wonderfully expressive eyes which fix and question the viewer, drawing us in to the heart of her exotic world. - G.S.

  4. Mystical. There is something from La Papesse in the look of this woman. The composition, the colors, the spirit of the painting makes me think about the mystery of Tarot symbols. The High Priestess/ La Papesses - one of the trump in Taro cards. She symbolizes always the mystical vision, intuition, knowingness ...
    - Olga



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