Throwback Thursday: Everything old is new again

CITY PRIDE CITY SHAME. 22×30 Acrylic and ink on paper. 2001

The only image of this frenetic gem was found hiding away in an abandoned folder on an old laptop that can barely breathe. I had to boot it up to dig for another image and glad I stumbled upon this.

What I like most about City Pride, City Shame are the early references to cartography and map making. This painting links the scrappy figurative work I did to the work I do today. In the foreground, on the right, there is a man who looks a bit like a block-headed robot. He is slumped over, leaning away from the cacophony, and leaving the urban landscape. I was using ink and acrylic paint and experimenting with monochromatic palettes at the time. The air over the city looks smoggy or polluted and the lines become both onlooking figures and architectural details.

Some early mark making survives today. Tally marks can clearly be seen which were used often as a part of a personal lexicon. Over the past decade and a half, tally marks have transformed into groupings of three or four buildings, or cars found in groups of four or five. You can see these ‘tally marks’ as groupings in paintings a decade later.

Lastly, I like this view of a place, seen simultaneously at street level and from above. This dual perspective is not found in any other work.


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