Philip Monaghan’s Take on ‘Gilligan’s Island’

At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away, a collaboration between painter Philip Monaghan and poet Tim Dlugos, is currently on view at New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections; the exhibit, which includes 54 works of oil, watercolor, and digital prints on canvas, is based on Dlugos’ poem “Gilligan’s Island,” a graphic depiction of which is presented on the gallery walls. While the exhibit was initially commissioned in 1983, Dlugos died of AIDS in 1990 before the project was completed. In 2007, Monaghan — who received his MFA in Painting from the Pratt Institute in 1979 — revisited the unfinished project and finished a series of watercolors and oil paintings interpreting the paintings.

In addition to being stylistically captivating, the works are compelling for their exploration of the subliminal communications embodied in this seminal ’70s television show. “Philip’s illuminating paintings open up the psychosexual world Dlugos — and a whole generation of gay men — envisioned in Gilligan’s world,” explains Marvin J. Taylor, the director of Fales Library. See for yourself. The exhibit runs through April 29th. But if you can’t make it to the Fales Library, click through for a slideshow of this extraordinary look into a significant chapter in ’70s pop culture.

© Philip Monaghan courtesy NYU Fales Library and Special Collections