|'City of Glass 13- (Entrance)' 120x150cms oil on canvas|
This painting began in June with three Manhattans side by side (of increasing scale from left to right). In COG 2 & 9 I had two Manhattans in the same piece so why not three? A New York Trilogy? The idea was to explore space by moving the Manhattans around, touching or tucked behind each other or placed apart to see what works best. The three shapes were connected visually by each having 42ndSt on the same long horizontal. Once again the idea was stronger than the execution - there was no space, the painting was cramped and claustrophobic so I made the decision to keep the strongest, the Manhattan on the right. There are ghostly traces of the other two in the swirling paint on the left side. I'll go back to the idea again with a wider canvas.
A friend described the shape of Manhattan as ugly - can't argue with that!- but throughout the series I have made a point of isolating and highlighting the island-shape and seeing in it the curves and proportions of the human figure.
In this painting, Grand Central Station is a door, the entrance to the implied tower in the surrounding streets, emphasised by shape and a narrower grid, with fake streets and false avenues. I toyed with the idea of calling the painting 'False Avenues' - I love the dual meaning of 'false avenues', avenues that don't exist, out there, and the false avenues we find ourselves travelling down, in life, as artists, as detectives.......I'll save the title for another painting. The almost-solid orange Hudson River also suggests architecture, a building 'there but not there', the top cut-off and open and the left-side deliberately straight. The colour, flatness and physicality of the paint all help create space, with the purple tucked in behind, and the large curve leaving the canvas and popping up as a purple stripe in the bottom right corner.