The exhibition opens Tuesday, February 9, 2016 with a reception for Philip Monaghan and David Trinidad hosted by Fales Library from 6:00-8:00 PM featuring Trinidad reading from his new book, Notes on a Past Life. The installation is on display through May 8, 2016.

Photo of Philip Monaghan
Philip Monaghan @80WSQ East

An Exhibition of Paintings Showcases the Collaboration of Painter and Poet

New York University’s Fales Library & Special Collections is pleased to present an exhibition: “Why Are You Doing This To Me?” Philip Monaghan and David Trinidad, a Collaboration of a Painter and a Poet, an exhibition of paintings by Philip Monaghan inspired by David Trinidad’s iconic poem “The Late Show,” revealing the films referenced in the poem. The show is traveling from Monaghan’s alma mater, Texas Tech University at Lubbock, where it opened at the School of Art Landmark Gallery during 2015.

The exhibition opens Tuesday, February 9, 2016 with a reception for Philip Monaghan and David Trinidad hosted by Fales Library from 6:00-8:00 PM featuring Trinidad reading from his new book, Notes on a Past Life. The installation is on display through May 8, 2016.

In conjunction with the main exhibition at Fales, 80 Washington Square East Gallery [@80 Washington Square East, NYC] is presenting a new series of companion street windows, featuring three paintings from the show which depict the actresses Doris Day, Kim Novak and Audrey Hepburn as they “dissolve” in their roles as victims of the films in Trinidad’s poem.

“Why Are You Doing This To Me?” is open to the public from 10:30 AM through 5:30 PM Monday-Friday in the Tracey/Barry Gallery, Bobst Library, Third Floor, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place), NYC. [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.]. For more information the public may call Elizabeth Wiest, 212 992 9744 or email

Fales Library’s Downtown Collection houses the David Trinidad Papers, and the exhibition will include archival material from Trinidad’s creation of “The Late Show.” Visitors will be able to follow the process of the poem’s creation from the beginning research, to an early draft, through final publication .

“The Downtown scene has a long history of poet and painter collaborators,” said Marvin J. Taylor, director, Fales Library & Special Collections. “In this new project, Monaghan and Trinidad depict the feelings of the heroines captured in the films, women who saw themselves as trapped in a masculine culture where they felt ill at ease. Each actress’ circumstance and character flaws result in their becoming victims, over and over again.”

The exhibition derived its name, “Why Are You Doing This To Me?” from a line in Midnight Lace (1960), where Mrs. Preston, played by Doris Day, sobs into the telephone, “Why are you doing this to me?”  Trinidad selected this scene as the eighth vignette and the 28th line of the title poem of his volume The Late Show (Turtle Point Press, 2007).


About Philip Monaghan

A painter noted for his visual collaborations with poets, Philip Monaghan was born in Rockville Center, New York and raised in the suburbs of New York City and Houston, Texas. He attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, receiving a BFA in Studio Art in 1976. In 1977, he moved to New York City to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where he received an MFA in Studio Art in 1979.

Part of the 1980s East Village fashion and art scene, Monaghan was friendly with artists including Andy Warhol, and worked as an art director and branding expert for various retail companies in New York and Milan.

From 1986, Monaghan held a variety of posts at Limited Brands, involved in positioning and creative direction for the company’s iconic brands. He retained top talent such as Patrick Demarchelier, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh. He retired in 2001 and dedicated himself to a fine arts practice.

In 2011, Fales Library at New York University mounted an exhibition of Monaghan’s paintings titled “At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away,” a visual response to Tim Dlugos’s poem “Gilligan’s Island.”

Philip Monaghan lives in New York City. His personal website is


About David Trinidad

David Trinidad was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1953 and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He attended California State University, Northridge, where he studied poetry with Ann Stanford and edited the literary journal Angel’s Flight. He founded Sherwood Press in memory of his late friend, poet Rachel Sherwood.

Trinidad’s first book of poems, Pavane, was published in 1981.

In the early 1980s, Trinidad was one of a group of poets active at the Beyond Baroque Literary/ Arts Center in Venice, California. Other members of this group included Dennis Cooper, Bob Flanagan, Amy Gerstler, and Ed Smith. As editor of Sherwood Press, he published books by Cooper, Flanagan, Gerstler, Tim Dlugos, Alice Notley, and others.

In 1988, Trinidad relocated to New York City. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College in 1990. He taught at Rutgers University and The New School. In 2002, Trinidad moved to Chicago to teach at Columbia College, where he co-founded the literary journal Court Green. His personal papers are archived at Fales Library at New York University.

About Fales Library and Special Collections:

The Fales Library, comprising nearly 358,000 volumes and over 11,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, and the general special collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection, founded in 1993, documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video.  The goal of the Downtown Collection is to comprehensively collect the full range of artistic practices and output of the Downtown scene, regardless of format.  This research collection, built on a documentary strategy, supports the research of students and scholars interested in the intersection of the contemporary arts and other forms of cultural and artistic expression.

The NYU Division of Libraries is a global system comprising five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.  Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually.  For more information about the NYU Libraries, please visit

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Christopher James
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