Scholar Jonathan Katz has noted that Johns's appropriation of images — including here stenciled alphabets, a flag, the hatching traditionally used for shading in printmaking — was also a way of encrypting his gay self. "I didn't want my work to be an exposure of my feelings," Johns said in 1973. "Abstract Expressionism was so lively — personal identity and painting were more or less the same, and I tried to operate the same way. But I found I couldn't do anything that would be identical with my feelings. So I worked in such a way that I could say that it's not me."
Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.
: Museum And Gallery
, Harvard Art Museums, Jasper Johns, Art, More