Very early in my exposure to art, I was encouraged by a number of contemporary artists to visit the Salmagundi Club in New York, the oldest professional artist’s club in the United States. Frequent trips to use their exceptional pool hall, to attend auctions, or to eat dinner in their quaint dining facilities exposed me to the work of numerous current and previous members. The work of New Jersey artist Junius Allen appealed to me, in an unpretentious, understated, but painterly way. I found a luscious winter scene entitled Squatter’s Hut in a great period frame painted in Summit, New Jersey, and somewhat reminiscent of Chauncey Ryder’s work. And years later, in 2004, I acquired a small dynamite image of the East River with heavy construction equipment evident through a palpable layer of fog. Allen’s clean, honest style of composition simply appeals to me on an emotional level.