“The Marriage,” Gregory Hildebrandt (American), acrylic, 1972. The famous “Brothers Hildebrandt,” Gregory and Timothy… I’ve admired the work of these men since my adolescence. They’re most famous for their illustrations for The Lord of the Rings, the Sword of Shanara and Star Wars. You’ve seen their work though you may not know of their names. February 7, 1975, the brothers walked into the offices of J.R.R. Tolkien publisher Ballentine Books with black plastic garbage bags full of drawings and paintings. Their “portfolio.” They said, “Pictures, man, we make ’em. Tolkien pictures.” Ballentine published three consecutive Tolkien calendars featuring their work, 36+ paintings. Their brushwork was indistinguishable one from the other. When they were on deadline, they would work in turns, around the clock, both working on the same paintings. Here’s a personal work by Gregory. Loneliness and solitude are not the same. We are surrounded by others, yet always alone. Untethered, disconnected, even from our most cherished loved ones. Our feet can’t find solid ground.

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