"Beyond the presence of the Navajo blanket, with its abstract geometric designs, there’s nothing particularly Southwestern about Philip Pearlstein’s painting Nude in Santa Fe with Self Portrait(1994). The title is merely matter-of-fact. It names a location where the composition — a male nude, lying prostrate on the floor before a large mirror set in a gilded frame — was painted. It could be a scene from any studio anywhere. It could be Pearlstein’s New York studio. It could be Paris.
What does make it unique among the artist’s canvases is his own reflection in the mirror. “That’s a rare one,” says Pearlstein, who’s only painted two or three self-portraits over the course of his seven-decades-long career. “Gerald Peters ran an artist workshop in Santa Fe, and it went on for several years. A number of New York artists went there. The workshop was in Downtown Santa Fe somewhere. I set up the model in my usual fashion with all this junk and the mirror, and I decided to do my own self-portrait in that mirror after catching my reflection.”"