Alice, after a 22-year hiatus while she raised their two children, returned with passion to her paints and canvas and began to focus on women as subjects, most recently aging women, some nude, at ease with their bodies.
Two of her paintings—one of the famous potter and sculptor Beatrice Wood at age 100, and feminist Betty Friedan—were purchased by the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution and are in their permanent collection.
Richard was immersed in visual arts as a child, but pursued a long career in music and psychology before returning to art and falling in love with sculpture. He feels his life has now come full circle and, lately, he, too, has begun a dialogue through his work, focusing on elderly people as subjects, exploring and interpreting what it is to age in our society. One of his pieces was selected for the art book The Great Age, published by UNESCO during the United Nations International Year for Older Persons.
The couple has produced a book titled THE ART OF AGING: Celebrating the Authentic Aging Self (Sentient Publications), which “takes a penetrating look at aging through a series of projects that confront fear and curiosity about growing old. We explore physical changes, sensuality and relationships, aging parents, spirituality and death. Drawing on our personal experiences and the wisdom of older mentors, we conclude that our elder years can be a time of ripening and harvest. Look for the book at bookstores everywhere, as well as online.
Additional images of Alice and Richard’s poignant and thought-provoking work may be seen on their website at http://www.matzkinstudio.com
Here's a fantastic video where the couple describes their philosphy and process and you can get a glimpse of their warmth and commitment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOhx1qHyMNO
-- Rosemary Carstens
(Above right: Richard in Bed with Cat, Alice Matzkin; above left: Untitle Lovers series, Richard Matzkin. Couple photo is by Donna Granata, Focus on the Masters, Series 2008)