Centoizing Alice Neel
“People Come First,” Metropolitan Museum of Art
March 22 - August 1, 2021
Alice Neel said, I am a collector of souls.
She painted the famous Andy Warhol
so we could see him fizzled and battle scarred.
She painted the local cabdriver Abdul Rahman
so we could get caught in his bearded dignity
and the net of his chest hair.
She painted Margaret Evans Pregnant,
bare belly bulging with imminent birth,
ready to face hard labor.
Alice Neel said, I have this overweening interest in humanity.
She painted David Bourdon and Gregory
in times still fraught for their relationship.
David is tightly pressed into a business suit,
while Gregory lounges legs splayed in his
with red socks signaling no stops or caution
Alice Neel lived for decades in Harlem.
She painted Two Girls, Spanish Harlem
and The Black Boys.
Their somber eyes insist -- we matter, our hopes
don’t leave us behind.
Jeff Neal, surviving brother, at the Met
for a private viewing, reflects,
“she was looking at two ghetto children from
and bringing out the beauty in us.”
Alice Neel said, when I painted, I was completely and utterly
She painted her nude Self Portrait when she
No apologies for her sagging belly
and all it had stomached.
Alice Neel said, the more experience you have, the better it is...
unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far.
Elane Gutterman, a health researcher, began her poetry journey about a decade ago. Her poems have appeared in Kelsey Review, Patterson Literary Review, U.S. 1 Summer Fiction Issue and The New Verse News. Tides of Expectation, her first poetry book, will be published by Kelsay Press in 2022.
The Ekphrastic Review
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