Sunday, March 1, 2009
Oil on Canvas 16" X 20"
If you follow my work, you will soon discover that I delight in ironies and contradictions. This is an example, however subtle. Here is a mundane scene that's obviously urban, at night. To paint in daylight would be nothing spectacular, much less interesting. But on a lonely rainy night, the explosion of light and color invokes all kinds of imagination and wonder. (Whether or not I captured it well enough, I leave for you to decide). But there is light creeping out of doorways, looming dark shapes on the streets, blazes of color, shaded windows. What is going on here? Of course, Hopper was the master of this in work that is deeply psychlogical and compelling.
The story of this is simple enough. My son and his wife, whom I have mentioned before in these blogs, live on the upper west side of Manhattan on the fringe of Spanish Harlem. Look out the street side window of their apartment and this is what you see. I got to thinking about what this trite setting would look like at night in the rain--all those reflections--and asked him to photograph it on some rainy night. Some months later I received an email with the photo that inspired this painting. I started immediately, made the necessary "artistic license" kind of adjustments and here it is. Trite or profound?