Jim’s Lafayette Street Soho studio was around the corner and three blocks away from Louise Nevelson’s studio on Spring Street. One more block over, at Spring Street and the Bowery, were the studios of Robert Indiana and other artists.
In our years of research, as we have mentioned before, Russell never discussed other well known artists that he would have known or that he exhibited with. The only exception that we know about is that once Jim told a friend from Rochester, Indiana that Louise Nevelson was an eclectic personality, did not hesitate to find material in dumpsters and that she also had pickers that would bring her material.
Being from Indiana, and with the close proximity of studios, we feel that Russell must have known or at least met Robert Indiana.
During recent research, we came across a somewhat crude photograph of a Haiku that Jim created with a direct reference to Robert Indiana. This piece makes it obvious that Jim was indeed familiar with Indiana’s work, and that he very possibly had an opinion regarding Indiana and/or his work.
Jim’s Haiku includes a copy of Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture, a wooden pawn enclosed in an irregularly shaped box and a box that holds castings of Jim’s thumb and nose with a small cast or carved circular design.
We will leave it to the viewer as to the meaning of Jim’s Haiku.