Morgan Spurlock, documentary filmmaker, sees Freeman’s portrait of Johnny Depp during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, gets an idea, searches for the artist’s phone number, makes a surprise call to commission Freeman to paint his business partner Jeremy Chilnick just like the Depp portrait, organizes a deceitful photo shoot in New York,  photographer dropboxes giant photo files of Chilnick for Freeman to work from, couple months later delivery and dinner with Morgan to check out the portrait on the pool table at Soho House in the Meatpacking District, NY, while Billy Cruddup carries a drunk Kiefer Sutherland to the washroom, a second trip to NY for the private party at Highline Ballroom, portrait hanging front and centre, lots of dancing, and a Manhattan snowstorm. Fun!


13 June, 2012  4:58 PM

Dear Carole 

Fantastic visual energy – makes me look young, I

suppose not a terrible thing.  Look forward to using it. 

Marvelous addition to the book. Many thanks for your kindness.



In the winter of 2012, I met the art dealer, Leslie Sacks, at his gallery in Brentwood, Los Angeles. A handsome man with deep-set eyes, wearing a hipster toque, he asked me to paint his portrait for the Skira publication of his African Art collection, preferring a painting to a photo of himself. At the time, the director of the gallery, Lee Spiro, commented what an enormous complement this was because "Leslie really only likes African art and Picasso".

I portrayed Leslie in his office surrounded by things he loved - an African sculpture and a David Hockney, not a Picasso. 

While painting, I came to know this would be the final portrait of a dying man, the watch on his wrist - prescient. The toque he wore when we met had covered his hair loss from chemo, his deep-set eyes those of an unwell man.

I was told that when he received the finished painting, he loved it but was speechless, stared at it a long time, perhaps unable to digest the reality of the image in comparison to his present reflection in the mirror. His reaction might explain the decision to publish the painting in sepia, a colorless, less representational version, though closer to Leslie's reality - a man in the process of becoming a memory. Leslie chose to put  his dedication, his only piece of writing in a book filled with essays and descriptions of his collection by experts in the field under the portrait. That fall, on September 26, not long after he held a just printed book in his hands, Leslie passed away.

Even though I received a copy of the book shortly after publication, it wasn't until three years later, that I was able to open it. I didn't have a chance to know Leslie well but through this book, I feel the responsibility he entrusted to me, and the honor he bestowed for the final presentation of his legacy - a final presentation of his "refined eye and passionate heart". 



Private Commission


acrylic on mylar, 36 x 24 inches each

Al Green Theatre Commission


oil on mylar, 36 x 60  inches


Blue Leaf Gallery Commission


ink and watercolor on paper, 3 x 5 inches each

Collection: LORD AND LADY GLENTORAN, Ireland


And so...I painted Alice Neel in the style of Alice Neel.

The first version was too big for Jerry’s  apartment.

Delivered small version to NYC, January 26, 2017.

"Roberta. Loves. The. Painting. So do I. " @jerrysaltz

(“Roberta” is Roberta Smith, Senior Art Critic for the New York Times, and Jerry’s wife.)

A second, actual, Alice Neel, 1933 Symbols, oil on canvas, 25 x 28 inches,

was requested by the two critics, delivered, April, 2017.

Alice After Alice

Oil on canvas, 48 x 54 inches (L), 22 x 28 inches (R)

Composition sourced from a black and white photo of Alice Neel with

permission of photographer Judy Olausen


L to R: Carole Freeman, Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith

Paint Me an Alice Neel”


Art Critic, New Yorker Magazine

Roberta later asked me to copy Weeping Woman by Picasso, picked up in New York in April, 2018. It now hangs in her office.

Here is Jerry talking about the copy to people who thought it was the original Picasso.