Diebenkorn’s First Steps

Artistic genius may be innate but there’s something to be said of an artist who has practiced his vocation since the age of five. To keep his toddler occupied, Richard Diebenkorn Sr. enticed his son with pieces of the cardboard placed between the folds of crisply pressed dress shirts from the drycleaners. In his infancy, the artist would draw trains and locomotives on the smooth, white surface. “I remember they were chipboard surface on one side, that, just, I hated, and on the other side was a smooth white, and that I liked to draw on,” he once remarked of his first canvas, albeit unconventional, showing his early sensitivity to surface and texture.