It was Oscar Wilde that said something about each man kills the thing he loves – in that case he was talking about remorse, I think. But destroying something you’ve created is an important part of every art.
When I painted Winter Wedding, it represented an event that I can still recall. Two friends under a chupa, in our apartment on Rothschild Boulevard, in front of a wonderful view of the street, with many people present.
I painted all that. Everything I could see. And then I destroyed all but the man and the woman at the center.
It didn’t happen all at once – over many months, as I worked on it, things disappeared. The chupa, parts of the street view, then all of it. Bit by bit, as I worked, I found – and felt – what was superfluous, what was distracting. Finally, only the bride and groom remained.
Now, looking at it again, I know why.
All I needed to show was the light. Not the light on the bride, but the light that came from her. Her light, falling on his face, bringing him out of the shadows.
That was the important part. Sometimes you have to destroy what you created, even if you love it.