The Studio Project | Max Ginsburg

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE | My north skylight provides me with a wonderful light to see color and form. On the left wall is a painting I did of my father stretching canvas. On the back wall is a small watercolor that my dear friend Greeny painted. These two paintings mean a lot to me.

My studio is about 800 square feet. I moved into this building in 2006, first on the third floor. A year later I moved to the fifth and top floor for the opportunity of having a north skylight built.

From 1974 to 2005 my studio was the dining room of an eight-room apartment on West 77th Street in Manhattan. In 2005 I sold this apartment and moved to a 1,200-square-foot studio in Union City, New Jersey. Then, in 2006, I moved to my present studio, which is located in Long Island City, closer to my residence, a small apartment in Manhattan.

When my studio was in my apartment, I did not have to spend time traveling and that was a timesaver, giving me more time to paint. But the advantage of a separate studio, a half-hour away from my residence, is a larger space in which to paint. I can paint larger canvases and there are fewer distractions.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE | Here is the other side of my studio. You can see the entrance door, some painting racks for storing paintings. A couple of large paintings hanging, Peace March and Hot Dog Stand Crowd, done in 2007 and 2004 respectively.

As for my productivity, let me give you a little history. When I was teaching full time at the High School of Art & Design, from 1960 to 1982, I did a lot of painting. Every year and a half, I had a solo exhibition at the Harbor Gallery, in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, and sold about ninety percent of the paintings each time. When I worked as an illustrator, from 1980 to 2004, the publishers loaded me up with so much work and paid me so well that I had practically no time to pursue my own work. My greed and insecurity, combined with the responsibility to support my family, compromised my integrity as an artist. When I stopped doing illustration, in 2004, the quality and ideas in my art changed, and I became more interested in painting the reality of the streets as I had during the 1960s and 1970s. Over the last thirteen years, I’ve resumed painting more from life, which I had not done much as an illustrator. In fact, I began coming to the Art Students League in 2006 to practice painting from life. Two years later, I began teaching life painting in workshops and a summer class at the League. More and more of my painting has been done from life, especially my multifigure compositions.

Here is a recent unfinished painting, Unemployed on Line, on my easel in my basic workspace. You might be able to recognize some of the people who posed for me who are models at the League. The other painting on the wall is Torture, Abu Ghraib (2009). For both, I had the models come to my studio to pose.

Related posts