This month, our issue features a Committee Report on investments, detailing the type of outside-the-box thinking that’s required to succeed in today’s economy. Alex Katz, the artist of the piece featured on our cover, “Bicycle Rider,” which sold for $1,500 at Christie’s recent Prints & Multiples Sale in New York on July 25, 2012, is also notable for his unconventional approach.
Best known for his large-scale paintings, Katz, a precursor to today’s Pop artists, would begin by painting a small oil sketch of his subject on masonite over the course of a brief initial sitting. He would then make another small, more detailed drawing in charcoal. This drawing would then be enlarged into what he called a “cartoon,” using an overhead projector and transferred to an enormous canvas using a technique called “pouncing.” Popularized by Renaissance artists, pouncing involves pushing powdered pigment through tiny perforations made in the cartoon to recreate the composition on a giant canvas. Finally, Katz would paint the entire piece in a single six or seven hour session. It was through this convoluted method that Katz was able to achieve his flat, detached aesthetic and prove that, sometimes, unique methods can produce wonderful results.