Raymond Elman: The Portraits

October 22– March 31, 2024

Raymond Elman documented his life in the Outer Cape Cod art colony of Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet, from 1970 to the present, by making large-scale, mixed-media portraits of the many impactful artists and writers that had befriended him when he was still in his twenties (and onward).

The first painting in this portrait series (1989) portrayed E.J. Kahn, Jr. (veteran New Yorker writer) and Palmer Williams (Executive Producer of “60 Minutes”) playing backgammon outdoors on the edge of the Cape Cod National Seashore – in positions reminiscent of Cezanne’s “The Card Players.” The painting is 6 x 5 feet.

Since then, he has made hundreds of paintings in this series of notable talents such as Norman Mailer, Robert Motherwell, Stanley Kunitz, Alan Dugan, Douglas Huebler, Justin Kaplan, Joel Meyerowitz, Annie Dillard, Mark Strand, Sebastian Junger, Alec Wilkinson, Varujan Boghosian, Budd Hopkins, Paul Resika, Mischa Richter, Al Jaffee, Lee Falk, Anne Bernays, Jane Leavy, Daniel Okrent, Alice Brock, Susan Orlean, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robert Pinsky, and Morton Dean. The dimensions of most pieces are either 60 x 40 inches or 40 x 30 inches. Four of Elman’s portraits are in the collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and have been exhibited there.

Elman moved his studio to Miami from Cape Cod in 2012 and began working with Miami’s diverse art communities, making large-scale portraits of people like Richard Blanco, Lourdes Lopez, Campbell McGrath, Khalilah Ali, Robert Zuckerman, Winston Scott, Gary Burton, Michele Oka Donor, Mitchell Kaplan, Kimberly Green, Richard Saul Wurman, Nicole Henry and many others.

RAYMOND ELMAN: The Portraits will feature approximately twenty-five large-scale, mixed-media portraits, combined with curated video clips of the people in the portraits that can be accessed via QR code on a mobile device (phone or tablet). The exhibition will include portraits of:

  1. Richard Blanco (5th Presidential Inaugural Poet)
  2. Michele Oka Doner (daughter of Miami Beach mayor Oka and creator of the mile-long embedded brass sculpture floor at Miami International Airport)
  3. Lourdes Lopez (principal ballet dancer for George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, and artistic director of Miami City Ballet)
  4. Campbell McGrath (MacArthur Genius Award winning poet)
  5. Robert Zuckerman (major film industry photographer)
  6. Gary Burton (vibraphone-playing jazz legend, recipient of Kennedy Center Honors award)
  7. Morton Dean (veteran reporter and anchor for CBS News and ABC News)
  8. Winston Scott (astronaut, jazz trumpet player)
  9. Jane Leavy (pioneering sportswriter for the Washington Post, author of biographies on Sandy Koufax, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth)
  10. Daniel Okrent (first public editor of the New York Times, author, collaborator with Ken Burns and Woody Allen)
  11. Mitchell Kaplan (founder of Books & Books, the Miami Book Fair, Mazur / Kaplan film production company)
  12. Richard Saul Wurman (architect, author, artist, creator of the TED Conference)
  13. Jonathan Plutzik + Lesley Goldwasser (owners of The Betsy Hotel)
  14. Kimberly Green (president of the Green Family Foundation)
  15. Al Jaffee (legendary cartoonist who appeared in every issue of MAD magazine and invented the back cover “Fold-In.)
  16. Robert Pinsky (3 time U.S. Poet Laureate)
  17. Stanley Kunitz (2 time U.S. Poet Laureate + Pulitzer Prize recipient)
  18. Nicole Henry (jazz vocalist)
  19. Alec Wilkinson (author and New Yorker staff writer)
  20. Sebastian Junger (author of “The Perfect Storm” and nominated for an Academy Award for the film “Restrepo”)
  21. Douglas Huebler (artist, one of the founders of the Conceptual Art movement)
  22. Justin Kaplan (author & Pulitzer Prize recipient + editor of “Bartlet’s Quotations”)
  23. Anne Bernays (novelist)

Sponsored by CARTA | FIU, Elman founded the Inspicio Arts publication platform in 2015, which changed its name to ArtSpeak in 2023. The heart and soul of ArtSpeak is its 500+ video conversations with impactful people in the arts – Pulitzer Prize recipients, United States Poet Laureates, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Pritzker award winners among others.