Mayakovsky in Delft
New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut. Gift of the Estate of George Deem. Accession Number 2013.54.77
| Image Notes
Original title: Mayakovsky in a Bulldozer in Vermeer's Small Street in Delft. Title revised by the artist 2003.
Vermeer, The Little Street, c. 1658. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam;
Rodchenko's photo portrait of Mayakovsky seated on a chair designed by Rodchenko, Moscow, 1924;
Bulldozer: Vermeer Corporation (Earthmoving Equipment) www.vermeer.com. Photograph of bulldozer by Mary Ellen Andrews.
| Artist's Notes
And what about Raphael?/ Have you forgotten Rastrelli? / It's time to make / museum walls / a target ./ Let the mouths of big guns shoot the old rags! (Vladimir Mayakovsky, 1918).
I had no time to really choose what I wanted to take to MacDowell (Colony) as art supplies so I brought my oil paints and a handful of my favorite reproductions. …I've been illustrating Mayakovsky's poetry. I am doing "Simple as Mooing" and "Cloud with Trousers." Naturally I am working on Vermeer ideas, and have made two rather remarkable Vermeer compositions. One has Mayakovsky's portrait.
It's been going very well, but today it exploded. It came out of the handful of favorite reproductions. I always bring Mary Ellen (Andrews)'s photograph of the bulldozer. It is perfect and the textures are a joy to paint. I draw and paint it a lot. Last night I got the idea but today I rendered it. It's putting Mayakovsky in the bulldozer. Today it got a Vermeer added. Behind the bulldozer is Vermeer's Little Street in Delft. It's a detail and there it is. (July 14, 1979).
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana
On View Downtown Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana
Broadcast Center Building, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts