Painter John Currin in New York Magazine:
You famously painted a topless portrait of Bea Arthur. Were you a big fan? [The] Bea Arthur painting is from Maude, which I used to watch as a kid. In the eighties, I didn’t have TV for, like, a whole decade. When I started watching again in the nineties, The Golden Girls was in syndication. When I had a loft with Sean and Kevin Landers, we’d always take a break in the afternoon and watch The Golden Girls. When I made the painting, I was living in Hoboken and still making abstract paintings, and I was very frustrated. I was walking back from the PATH train and this vision of Bea Arthur just came to me.
I happen to love this painting. Whether Currin's intent or not, it underscores her femininity and gives her a heightened respect. There will never be another like her!