Finding Willem de Kooning

Scott DochertyArt News, Personal

When I was between my junior and senior years in college I got a job working at the Silver Seahorse restaurant and marina out on the east end of Long Island.  The great attraction was being in East Hampton and Amagansett out on the island, where a lot of New York artists spent the summer.  What a treat to catch site of a storied NY abstract expressionist!  I did catch a glimpse of Larry Rivers and Marca Relli, but my dearest wish was to see Willem de Kooning. I would park across the street from his mailbox, at the end of a long wooded driveway on a wooded back road. One day and older man in white, paint spattered overalls  and a head of unruly white hair retrieved his mail and returned home down the drive.  Willem de Kooning?  I believe so.  

That was the extent of my brush with history, but it was like touching a tiny fragment of that explosive era of art.