Saturday, March 21, 2015

Drawing Another Story

This is a view looking north on Franklin Avenue in the guise of an 8x10 pen and ink drawing.

I've been reading the classic book on 19th century American landscape painting by Barbara Novak,  Nature and Culture.  She cites another writer about the ambivalence American landscapists had about introducing the railroad train into their landscapes.  The train didn't fit the Claude Lorrain system that many artists had imposed upon the American landscape, even though the train made the landscape available and usually was there.  "In art we have a fascinating history of technological inventions presenting art conventions with no options but to exclude them.  The automobile in twentieth-century art provided one such example.  There were few effective ways of including it within an existing realist convention until the appearance of American pop art."  In my drawings and paintings of Brooklyn and other urban places, I include all the cars.  When I first started doing urban scenes, I looked for places without cars, but I quickly realized that I couldn't find anyplace where cars were not present.  They function as my stand-ins for people.  Why I don't include people?  That's another story.

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