Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wasted Spaces Series - The Old Door

8"x 8" oil on board

The brackets give the effect of an old train station (thankfully, many of these are being preserved across the country) but in fact it's an old loading station.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wasted Spaces Series - Nailed Shut Again

8" x 8" oil on board

This brick apartment building is gone now, replaced by a landscape of bare, dusty soil, garbage and the crane featured in my previous post.  Even in it's half-wrecked and empty state it was dignified if not beautiful, the way an old man or woman might be - the ones we have forgotten how to listen to, and utterly fail to see.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wasted Spaces Series - What was

8"x 8" oil on board

This is a section of New London near Fort Trumbull State Park where the city used the powers of "eminent domain" to claim buildings and houses. 

I had not meant to "celebrate" one of the tools by which the city has razed these old buildings, but there was something starkly powerful, something sculptural, about this machine against the empty sky.  The photograph was taken on a weekend, so this crane seemed in that moment as utterly abandoned as the buildings themselves; and yet it bristled with the energy of recent labor and effort that it represented.  

The people who created the Eiffel Tower, the Sears Building, etc would have understood this, I think - and perhaps even those who engineered the first tanks, the first rifles, the first bombs. We are fascinated by the strange beauty of our machines, the things we create in order to destroy.

Wasted Spaces Series - Nailed Shut

8"x 8" oil on board

This is an ongoing series of paintings about wasted spaces.  I see so many empty buildings, just waiting for something or someone.  This is really a record of history because as you read this, most of these buildings in this series have already been demolished.

I find unlikely and forlorn beauty in these abandoned buildings and their neglected landscapes. Their aged textures, forms and patinas are like jewels when light cast its shadows. The questions of what will happen to the places left behind, what happened to the people who once lived and worked in them, is not unlike a more personal question for myself: where will this series take me?  

For me, there is beauty and sadness in decay.