Cover of trash receptacle next to 14 Collister Street between Hubert Street and Laight Street, TriBeCa, Manhattan

February 2001

This is another archetypal alley, but a rather nice one. It was tricky to paint on the wooden cover of the receptacle, because it was so dirty and the dirt kept getting into the paint. The painting is based on Arnold Bocklin’s Die Toteninsel (“The Island of Death”), which is one of the great melodramatic paintings of all time. Bocklin must have liked it, too, as he made several versions of it. I saw it for the first time when I lived in Berlin in 1990 and was very taken with it.

Absolutely nothing happened here. I just spent two days painting in delicious solitude. I would definitely recommend this alley for illegal activities of all kinds. And, when I last looked, my painting was still there.