Artist Interview: Maurice Margulies

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Maurice Margulies, an eighty four year old Brooklyn, New York boy. The fact that I have been living in the Washington D.C. area since 1959 does not change that. I chose science as a career although I was drawing and painting since at least the age of six. I have a Ph.D. in microbiology and worked as a research scientist at the Smithsonian Institution for twenty-nine years. I had some art training at Pratt Saturday morning classes as a youth and also major support from a friend of my mother who was an art teacher in the New York City High Schools.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
My forte is drawing whether I am using graphite, charcoal, an intaglio plate or oil paints (and sometimes water colors). I am a traditionalist using traditional media in pretty much traditional ways.

What is your creative process like?
I am visually stimulated by anything around and can make a drawing or painting of same. I mostly use the human figure, clothed and unclothed, and natural or industrial landscape. However dead birds or other animals alive or dead as well vegetation may be used as a source. I draw and paint from life. I interact strongly with my subject matter and usually yields representational work with strong expressivity. It is really a three-way conversation between me, subject and medium. Much of my work is produced or at least started in classes or open drawing or painting sessions.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
I need a strong will to set aside the time I need for production of art work. Since I have not really pushed selling I limit what I spend with the result that I frame, photograph, and keep other records myself and on a regular basis.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

"Russell" by Maurice Margulies

“Russell” by Maurice Margulies

I am exhibiting painting of nude male and female figure at Artomatic. It would not be possible to exhibit some at most other venues. Most of the time paintings were started in open painting sessions or in class. Only one was done when I hired a model for myself. My masters in figure painting are Lucien Freud and also Francis Bacon. I believe I have all Lucien Freud catalogues of exhibits at Acquavella in New York.

I have attached an image (Russell) of one of the paintings I have on exhibit. This work was done largely in two three hour sessions of an open studio but completed at my home studio. Russell was a model who held poses very well. But what is one more “nude in the studio”? Although that is how the painting started out with a reasonably realistic (and accurate portrait) it also had a realistic studio background which was then worked over into abstract material which shows some basis of the actual architectural structure to the side and rear of the model and also integrates model and background.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
Artomatic is interesting because of the wide variety of work presented. I have no one favorite part.

What is your website (or other method of contact):
My e-mail address is I also have a web site that unfortunately has not been maintained: but still gives a good idea of some of my work.

You can see more of Maurice’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 4-035.