|If you're fortunate in life,...
...sometimes you come across someone who shows you things you've never seen before. Things you knew to be truths but never heard them spoken. Jim was such a person for me. For the last thirty years starting with my undergraduate years at Pratt, he's always been there for me with words of encouragement and guidance, whether it be about painting or anything else. You see, Jim was much more than a mentor and teacher to me.
Jim taught me to be true to myself. And I have learned from his example. As many of you know, Jim was a great painter whose works have not yet been fully appreciated, but as with many great painters throughout history, it will take time and cultural development for this to happen. And this lack of public recognition would have been more than most artists of Jim's stature could take. And their works, with time, might conform to what the market dictates and usually this would lead to some sort of monetary success for them. But we know this wasn't what Jim was about.
I can remember sitting around the dining room table, with Jim at his usual seat at the head with coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, discussing issues of politics or art. I may have said something overtly optimistic or naive, and Jim would just look at me from under his bushy eyebrows and say, "George." And that's all he'd have to say.
George Pearlman 7/10/99