The whole Rivers family rehashes the artist Larry Rivers’s life and career in Michael Schnayerson’s excellent follow on to Kate Taylor’s New York Times story about Rivers daughters and the film he made of them. Of course, everyone has a different perspective. Without getting into that saga, here’s a remotely art-oriented clip from the story:
To judge by the cabinets and boxes within, Rivers kept everything—every letter written to him, every picture he took, and every film he made, the reels shelved in white boxes on a bathroom wall and hand-marked. Here, too, are 635 paintings that won’t be included in the archival transfer. Before packing it up for the National Portrait Gallery show, Joel unveils Frank O’Hara in Boots, a nearly eight-foot-high 1954 portrait, in deep, strong browns and muted flesh tones, of the influential New York City midcentury poet and art critic, proudly naked but for his boots. It’s vintage Rivers: beautiful, startling, and gleefully provocative, even for those with no idea that O’Hara was Rivers’s lover.
Rivers’s paint-smeared worktable is in the basement, the squeezed and twisted tubes of oils exactly as he last touched them, the Martinson coffee can still holding his brushes in a horsehair bouquet. So is Rivers’s saxophone, in its scuffed and ancient case: the start of his story as an artist.
Crimes of the Art? (Vanity Fair)