Shortly before he died, I sat with Robert in his studio. He still
worked, despite terrible bouts of coughing, vomiting, and excruciating
pain. With the aid of his youngest brother, the photographer Edward
Maxey, he was able to produce some final, perfect images. We sat amongst
large, exquisite prints. A cluster of deeply ripe grapes. A single
rose. And a marble portrait of Hermes. The skin of the white statue
burned and seemed to emit its own light against a field of black. It was
as if, through Robert’s eye, it had glimpsed life.