The Stock Exchange Bicentennial
One day my husband, Eric, asked me to sit down and listen to his new ideas about my paintings. He said that he realized that I was doing the history of the present time, and because the canvases tended to be sold so quickly, we had lost trace of various owners, (some of whom had passed away or were in different countries) and that we should no longer sell the paintings. Instead we should make signed and numbered limited editions, and whoever wanted to put a deposit down, would be in the painting.
I said that it would never work.
He said:”Let’s try. Go into an area where they know your work, sit down, begin painting, and let’s see what happens.”
I had done 3 paintings for Goldman Sachs, Fraunces Tavern Museum was just holding an exhibit of my work, and I had never done the Stock Exchange by itself. And so I sat down and began........
One of the passers by, whom I had often met during my time of working here, stopped and asked what would be in the painting. I explained and he asked what it would cost. I told him that it would not be sold but that we would do signed and numbered limited edition prints and whoever would buy one would be painted into it. He said without hesitation :” I will send down a check for 8 prints” and he did.
I fell in love with Wall Street and the people who worked there. When this painting was finished, there were so many brokers, street passers by, visitors from all over who wanted to be in the painting that I ended up doing 2 more in the same way during the next few years. One was of the NYSE trading floor and the last one of the Wall Street series was of the installation of Richard Grasso.
I learned so much during my years of work in the financial district. I guess the word that first comes to mind is “respect” and the second is “friendship” and also ““kindness”.
From the balcony of the stock exchange I had an overview of the frenzied work days, and yet those attributes among the people I watched and worked with made me think of the little we know of the world around us. Just being allowed to see and listen has been the gift my work allowed. I am so deeply grateful for that chance in this awesome city.