Acrylic on Canvas
24” x 36”
This art was inspired by the poem:
As an adolescent I would finger
the belongings my sister left
behind. Boxes brimmed to their
corrugated edges with photo albums.
110mm memories mounted on crusted
adhesive. Snapshots of Teddie
and Gary basking like beefsteak
on the flat rocks that line the Delaware
River. Their eyes weighted with weed.
15 years and 3,000 miles later,
I return to find my own photos
niched next to the crates of Christmas
ornaments. Forgotten like a bastard boy.
Their plastic pages protect memories
of dally days — Judy and Rose, eyes
and smirks stewed with Smirnoff, slump
on the couch, beer bottles high
in salute. Rose is not wearing underwear.
Her denimed crotch is damp.
In the family room, my parents,
like beacons, watch made-for-TV
movies and cooking shows. On the wall
hangs a photograph of me at 12 years old.
Plump cheeks and tired eyes.
Confused smile and simple stare.
Captured like the other
ghosts in the attic.
— © Robert P Langdon
An award-winning poet and playwright, Josepha Gutelius made a radical switch to visual art in 2015. Born 1952, raised in Greenwich Village and Waccabuc, NY. A graduate of the Masters School, where she studied under painter Robert Arner, who became a lifelong friend and mentor. Attended Bard College as an art major and switched to Comparative Literature, eventually concentrating on German literature at Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich. Her first collection of poems, To the Perfect Love which Prepares a Table Beyond Us, was published by Rat and Mole Press in 1975.
In 1971, she met her future husband in Cadaques, Spain, in the home of Salvador Dali. Moved to West Berlin in 1975, where she worked as arts correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and published her second collection of poems, Rapt Meat, with original collages by the author. Returning to NYC in the late 70s, she became production editor for the Norton Anthologies of literature and simultaneously began playwriting. Plays staged in NYC and regional theaters include Schlag’s Atomica World Machine, Vaseline, Veronica Cory, The Age of Anxiety, Miracle Mile.
In 1980, she and her husband made a permanent move to Saugerties where she began publishing short stories -- several as fictionalized accounts of artists, notably Penny, which was included in the anthology Best New Writing 2013. Many of her paintings reflect the narrative equivalent of a setting, a mood, an atmosphere — with characters who have a story to tell.