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Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian

Alice Neel American

Not on view

Neel met Fluxus artist Geoffrey Hendricks (1931–2018) and his partner Brian Buczak (1954–1987) in the fall of 1977 at Rutgers University, in New Jersey. They offered her a ride back into the city after her campus slide lecture. Upon their return to her Upper West Side apartment, she began this double portrait, a disarmingly casual representation of same-sex affection for the time. Seated at Neel’s kitchen table, Hendricks meets the viewer’s gaze with a smile framed by late-day scruff. With his dreamy eyes and red-plaid shirt opened up to reveal abundant chest hair, Buczak, who wraps his arm around Hendricks’s shoulders in a loving embrace, imparts a sensual charge to the composition. A veritable orgy of phallic bananas overfills a bowl in the foreground. Hendricks later recalled Neel moved this still life element into place midstream "with a little twinkle in her eye."

Geoffrey Hendricks and Brian, Alice Neel (American, Merion Square, Pennsylvania 1900–1984 New York), Oil on canvas

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