Jonathan Santlofer

I should be doing my work, but have chosen to answer this….

1. How and when you first met Harry Roseman I first met Harry in 1966 at Skowhegan when he came to visit Catherine Murphy with whom I’d become friends. It was about 90 degrees and Harry arrived in a wool chalk-stripe suit. We were all tan and outdoorsy looking from our art-camp life and I remember thinking, ‘This is the palest man I have ever seen.’ Cathy took one look at Harry and said, “Oh, Mr. New York is here!”

2. A statement about your work and/or a brief autobiographical statement. I have been an artist since, well, forever, but started my serious art life as a painter who made eccentrically shaped abstract paintings. In 1989, I lost 6 years of work in a Chicago gallery fire. It sent me on an unexpected path. First to Rome, at the American Academy, where I took up smoking and drinking coffee as a vocation. Frustrated with my painting, I began to write a novel. It took me almost 10 years to refind my artwork and to finish the novel, The Death Artist, a satire about a serial killer in the art world. The novel was an unexpected success and changed my life. Since that time I have written 3 more novels and have been showing my artwork again, now representational work that deals with art and art history.

— April 2007