‘Ralph Hamilton’

(From ‘Fourteen People: After a Portrait Series by Ralph Hamilton’)

It’s all in the eyes. The broad, smudged,
helpless body shivers and dissolves, washing out
its thin, coloring-book outlines; arms hang
stiff at the sides; vest (popped?) open; broad
white tie tight under a shovel of red beard;
feet apart, planted — barely — in Japanese sandals.
(An “aesthetic” touch? or homey, summery —
countering the long-sleeved Windsor formality?)
But the eyes: coal-blue, white-hot, sapphire coals,
shifting behind the flat front of flesh —
untouchable; unshakable . . .
                                  The disappearing artist
keeping close behind the flimsy painted cardboard
with holes poked-out only for the eyes.

- Lloyd Schwartz

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Ralph Hamilton
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