A new film on the life and work of portraitist Alice Neel recently debuted at the Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, Greenwich Village. Directed by her grandson Andrew Neel, it documents her troubled, creative life.
At the time Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art were so fashionable that portrait painters were considered nostalgia acts. Ms. Neel spent much of her adult life on welfare and was marginalized until the late 1960s and ’70s, when the counterculture embraced her, and major museums began showing her work.
My love of caricature draws me to her work. I can see elements of the artform in the majority of her later portraits as well as having some influence on the work of Philip Burke (my own opinion).
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