Collection Barry Friedman, New York

The Uninvited, closed
The Uninvited, open
The Uninvited, closed detail
The Uninvited, open detail

The Uninvited

oil on canvas on hardboard

diptych, 185 x 133 cm, open 185 x 77 cm closed

”The Uninvited” is the second of a series of paintings with Russian overtones. The apartment I rented in the Stalinist era block of flats was not the sort to inspire devotion to The Cause let alone to painting. You’ve got to be either tough or crazy - preferably both - to sit in the middle of a block of Muscovites for six weeks in winter on your own and paint, especially when you don’t speak a word of Russian. I never saw many of the neighbours, the moment they heard my door open theirs closed. I must have been the first real foreigner 99% of them had seen; they weren’t unfriendly, just uneasy, particularly those who must have lived through the Soviet days when neighbours were encouraged to report on neighbours; “Who’s this outsider?