This one is a bit of a cheat because I did have permission to paint, which was against the rules of the project. But I just couldn’t resist. And it was the last one.
The Doris Moran is an old eighty-foot tugboat that my friends Eve Sussman and Simon Lee bought and that was moored next to Metropolitan Lumber just south of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn. Whenever the weather was bad, they would have to bail her out so that she wouldn’t sink. I felt sorry for them, so I offered to decorate the boat for good luck. To get onto her, you had to climb down the side of the dock, balance on a piece of floating lumber, and then climb up her side. I tried, but I was too scared to do it, and so I ended up making the painting once Eve and Simon had moved the boat to a more manageable dock in New Jersey.
For the shows at Apex Art and P.S.1, I photoshopped a pink oval with the words “to be completed” onto the side of Doris and used that as the last photograph. This was a bit of a mistake because it led to some people thinking that I had photoshopped all of the paintings onto photographs of the various sites, which was irritating after all of the trouble that I’d taken. So far, my favorite misinterpretation of the photographs is in a review of a show at Aljira in Newark by a New Jersey art critic who seemed to think that the project had consisted of my photographing old paintings, transferring the images onto stickers and then sticking the stickers over graffiti sites. I have no idea where he got this idea.
The painting is based on Sunset on the Coast near Naples by Joseph Wright of Derby. For a boat, I thought a nautical scene would be more appropriate than a landscape. Doris is sold now.