"The Orientalist" (1999)

"The Orientalist," 1999
Watercolor, gouache, ink and pencil on paper, 60 x 40 inches
Private collection, New York
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

"I have an ongoing project that has to do with Sir Richard Burton, the nineteenth-century explorer. One of the stories that stuck with me was about monkeys that he kept in his quarters when he was a young officer...The thing about this monkey picture is Richard Burton is keeping forty monkeys in his quarters when he’s a young officer to learn their language. There’s something just right away that strikes me as humorous in the quintessentially super-eccentric British way and their mode of building an empire which was carried out by these kinds of eccentrics"