Photograph by Meggan Gould
Gideon Bok paints his studios and whatever happens to be in them. He received his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1996, worked as a Guggenheim fellow in 2004, and currently lives and farms in Camden.
The studio acts as a vessel for the large accumulation of small things that Bok either finds on the street, or gets from friends and neighbors, like this old light-up globe that found its way into his paintings recently.
The studio looks out over Main Street in Rockland and toward a brick building that becomes brilliant orange in the late afternoon sunlight. It is three floors above The Black Bull Tavern. “There’s a bar downstairs,” Bok says. “It’s interesting. And keeps it fun.”
Emmet is a Jack Russell terrier named after Emmet Gowin, a contemporary photographer and fellow Guggenheim recipient. “I don’t think his stuff has much to do with my work. I just love looking at it and thinking about it.”
Bands have recorded albums at the studio, and Bok sometimes wails on an electric guitar, but the collection of instruments serves another purpose. “The instruments are bait to get people to play music,” he says. “I like that they can get into their own world and aren’t conscious of me painting.”
For his latest project, Bok set up three easels looking at the room from three different perspectives to paint what will become a triptych of the studio.
Gideon Bok is represented by Alpha Gallery in Boston.