The scene was inspired by the fishermen of Naxos, a Greek island in the Cyclades of the Mediterranean.
Toil was painted over a number of months, some years after visiting Greece in the early 80s.
The two fishermen continue to fish while the other boats lie in harbor. It could be early morning and perhaps these fishermen had already caught the best fish.
Or the scene might suggest the end of a long day like every other day, in which they had not caught as much as the other fishmermen, who were home enjoying their fresh fish.
During the days, I spun stories like these on the beach, often after following Dionysius and his denizens around Naxos in a night of frivolity.
Today’s hardworking residents of Naxos bear little resemblance to Dionysus, who knew nothing about toil.
As I applied the paint to the canvas, I was the one who was now checking my metaphorical nets twice a day to see if I’d caught anything. The painting taught me something about daily toil.
12” 31 cm
9” 24” cm
Toil was recently discovered in a box devoted to last-minute packing decisions made under duress.