Friday, October 24, 2008

The Gantry

Down by the river

"LIC/The Gantry"
Oil on canvas
8 x 10 inches

Another LIC painting today. This scene is down by the East River where the views of the Manhattan skyline are truly spectacular. Directly across the river one can see the U.N., and the Empire State Building. You can look downriver and upriver and pick out one well-known building after another. The light on the buildings keeps changing depending on the time of day, and there are lots of great sky changes going on too. This area is known as Gantry State Park and the waterfront has been developed along with the large buildings going up along the water's edge. There are places to sit and relax and enjoy the views and it's a great site for photographers.

Also wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to Gabriela Lopez Dellosso, an artist I know who currently has an exhibit at the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in Soho on Spring Street. I attended the opening reception and this artist's work is well worth seeing. Large and small figurative paintings and when you look in the shadows and the backgrounds, interesting and unexpected things are going on. If you'd like to see some of Gabriela's work click this link.

Friday, October 17, 2008

L.I.C. Construction Boom

Buildings, buildings everywhere

JacksonConstruction #1
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

One of the reasons I decided to create a new series of L.I.C.-based paintings was due largely to the rapidly changing face of the neighborhood over the past several years. Having found my studio in 1980, I would watch as the occasional building went up or was renovated, with not too much fanfare or change to the local scene. In 1989, the Citicorp building was opened and word was that the neighborhood would undergo major changes, but that didn't really happen until just a few years ago. Now, when I walk out of my studio 5 - count 'em - 5 buildings are in development within a two block walk. I've been watching as these structures go up, changing daily, and knew that this would be one of the themes that I would explore when preparing this new series of works. This painting is of a rental building going up just down the block from me. I really liked the play of space created by the beams - abstract yet representational at the same time. Those guys just walk on those steel beams, moving them around and getting them into place so easily, it boggles the mind. I have to admit, it is really is fascinating watching a building go up, piece by piece. Since this painting was completed, the brickwork is now in place and I believe the structure will be completed by the spring. This scene, like so many others I've done, has aready been altered. I'm just trying to catch and hold onto a piece of time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Silvercup Studios

Bread and Film

"LIC/Silvercup Studios"
Oil on canvas
10 x 10 inches

Today I share another painting in my recent Long Island City series, the Silvercup Studios, home of some great television and film production. Before it was converted to sound stages for the entertainment industry, Silvercup was a big commercial bakery and I am old enough to remember driving over the 59th Street bridge in the evening enveloped by the wonderful smell of freshly baking bread. When I walk around LIC today, sometimes in the late afternoon, I can still catch a whiff of baking bread, leading me to believe that there are still commercial bakeries in the neighborhood.

One of my favorite programs, "The Sopranos" was filmed at Silvercup and I had an "almost" thrill during the last season of filming. A location scout had come up to the studio thinking that my large windows might work for an upcoming scene that was in the planning stages. Although my space was not used, I did eventually see the segment as described. Ah, what could have been. I still have his business card with the show's logo tacked up on my bulletin board.

There have been a lot of rumors circulating about the Silvercup Studios area being developed into retail and living spaces, but with the economy floundering like a fish out of water these days, I'm pretty sure any development plans are on hold and it might be years before anything comes of these rumors. It's "wait and see in L.I.C." Ah, I just couldn't resist.

Friday, October 3, 2008

An Edward Hopper Week

First the boyhood home

Hopper House Gallery photo taken October 1, 2008

Last Sunday I attended the reception for the "Small Matters of Great Importance" exhibit at the Hopper House Gallery and had a delightful afternoon. The house itself, boyhood home of artist Edward Hopper, is a small space, the rooms very compact. Nice wooden floors throughout, and nice light streaming in through the windows. And article appeared in the area newspaper and my painting "LIC Courthouse-Flag" was reproduced, very nice. Click here to read article

This week-end I'll continue with my Edward Hopper journey when I visit his studio in Greenwich Village. It will be open to the public as part of the Open House New York week-end, a great event that I enjoy every year. It's a wonderful way to go behind the scenes of some interesting sites in New York. Click here to check out the sites that will be open to the public.

Work on the LIC series for the upcoming December show is still going along like gangbusters. My friend designed a really nice brochure that is now at the printers. Gearing up for a great show!