Letters to Jorge Amaya


Dear Jorge,

I am happy to have received your remarkable drawing and letter in good shape. Kilsey has been telling me about you for a while now but I was not totally prepared for the impact of your piece.

You have shown us, through the amazing power of your imagination and execution, a total world view. You have managed, in one compact composition, to illustrate the tragic history of the 20 th century in a most graphic and compelling manner. The structure of the work revolves around the face of death; death as a joker or a clown. This face is placed central to the other major scenes and symbols revolving around him. Positioning the hydrogen bomb explosion under Death is brilliant; leaving space on both sides of the symbol of the bomb is just right it gives the bomb more power. Having Hitler and Himmler looking on with pleasure and approval (framing the explosion) is a masterstroke. The reflection of the bomb in Himmler's glasses is brilliant.

In spite of the dark and, to my mind, absolutely accurate depiction of the major actors and events which dominated our world for over a century, your drawing style is warm and inviting, the strokes tender and loving, caressing and building all the forms with soft hatches. You allow the viewer to move into the composition, strangely enough, into the space around the bomb. We can slide, as it were, past the bomb space into the soft shoulder of death. As my eyes move up into the space between the bomb and the faces of Der Fuhrer and his henchman, a profound and mysterious dark sucks me back past the side of the face of death and the ominous helmeted figure holding the newspaper. As my eyes rise up the right side of your drawing and approach the chest of the Statue of Liberty, this dark seems to peel off and sink into the depths while releasing us into the light of the statue. As this potent dark sinks back as part of the shoulder of death it seems to be pushing everything else out towards us. Only an artist of great power could pull off such a subtle but profound effect..

There is much more I would like to say about your drawing, but I know you have waited long enough to receive my reply. I am hopeful that we can continue our relationship through the sharing of pictures, correspondence and, if you wish, visits. If you would like me to visit you must initiate the process by putting me on your visitors list and sending me a form. Kilsey can help you with that.

Love and respect from Larry Bernstein


Letter - 1
My thoughts after receiving Jorge Amaya's drawing