David Crompton


Old Masters

I'm very pleased to see this excellent essay in the NYT Magazine by Lewis H. Lapham on the power, experience and insight of those working into their eighties and beyond. This is very much in line with my (currently neglected) little series called 40over70 that celebrates people–primarily artists–working and truly thriving past their seventies. I've been so busy with a number of projects lately but I pledge to get back to business on 40over70 before year end!

From the time that I was 6 years old I had the mania of drawing the form of objects. As I came to be 50 I had published an infinity of designs; but all that I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth being counted. It is at the age of 73 that I have somewhat begun to understand the structure of true nature, of animals and grasses, and trees and birds, and fishes and insects; consequently at 80 years of age I shall have made still more progress; at 90 I hope to have penetrated into the mystery of things; at 100 years of age I should have reached decidedly a marvelous degree, and when I shall be 110, all that I do, every point and every line, shall be instinct with life — and I ask all those who shall live as long as I do to see if I have not kept my word.
— Hokusai

Carmen Herrera, age 99 | Photographed by Erik Madigan Heck