Joni's comments from the 1988 eclection art exhibition catalog and titled Bowery Bum: This old beggar leaned his head in the window of a cab I was in on Houston Street in New York City.
Joni's comments from the 1979 StarArt book: In new York's Bowery there are some old winos that repeatedly hustle cars for coins and cigarettes. This guy is a regular down there and I finally snipered him with my camera, mainly because of the incredible back lighting on him at that moment. Also, there was a highly polished van pulled up along side of us and when the photograph came back there was all this beautiful reflection. The shot was more interesting than I remembered. In this painting I've given him a little more pathos in his face. You like him more when you look at the painting than if you saw how his face actually was, he's much more degenerate. Not that it was my intention to make his appearance more palatable, it's just that in the rendering from the photograph when the face came up softened like that I decided not to work to make it like it was but to accept the face as it appeared first because perhaps that softness was in him too.
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