Portrait of Ira Sadoff 20"x16" oil on canvas 2011, Michael Hafftka
In a recent piece on The Huffington Post (online), painter Michael Hafftka and BOA poet Ira Sadoff (True Faith, 2012) ruminate, each on the other's respective arts. Featured in the piece is a painted portrait of Sadoff, by Hafftka, which is part of a series of portraits the artist has created with poets as subjects."I love poetry with its mysterious use of words, bending, creating, smearing words to reveal emotions hidden or apparent," says Hafftka. "Over the past 35 years and as part of my fascination with poetry, I have painted poets, some who are close friends, as a tribute to the immense magic they ring out of words and rhythm. ...I was introduced to Ira Sadoff at a dinner after a reading by a mutual friend, the poet Gerald Stern. ...Gerry said to me 'after you paint me you should paint Ira, he is a fine poet.'" On the process and experience of being painted, Sadoff says: "It's an odd experience to see how someone sees you. Even more so someone you don't know very well. But there's a way in which the painting wasn't about me. I was its subject, the way a landscape was a subject, and it's the artist's job to create a vision, something coherent and artful in what he saw. And I was glad to be there for it, to be part of the pantheon of poets Michael painted. When they appear in a show sometime in the future, I'll hold a drink up to him with praise and thanks." Read the full piece on The Huffington Post (online). True Faith is available at the BOA bookstore. Check out Michael Hafftka's website for more of his work and poet series.