Sunday, November 27, 2011

Late Afternoon

Just finished up with Late Afternoon. It's been a rather challenging piece.  Originally, I had planned to utilize a faux encaustic technique that would make the figures recede into the background in a mysterious fog like way , but my Matte Medium was littered with dry white chips and of course this wasn't discovered until after it was applied and had dried over night. The fact I was down in Herford with family and it was Thanksgiving pretty much meant I needed to change direction if this piece were going to be submitted for a group showing this week.

I decided to play with the golden daylight of the afternoon and revisit the color scheme of Minority. It's also created from crowd shots that don't focus on the faces.  The figures become completely anonymous. I feel this speaks to the reality of walking down the city streets though.  When in a large city on a particularly busy street I find that I'm not looking into people's faces I'm looking down and figuring out where to cut in between others and obstacles (sign posts, newspaper machines, and gum). Other times I'm looking up above people navigating, which street to go down. Either or my focus isn't upon making eye contact or relating with the people around me more than I have to.

It's that same anonymity that Edward Hopper captured in his work, but using a different strategy to achieve it. I have to own up though that when I was taking photos last year in Union Square area in San Francisco I was simply trying to be a little covert about snapping my photos or snapping before I'd finished framing the shot.  The main reference photo was really a mistake or at least thought to be. It was the same for Chill. It wasn't until latter when I saw the motion the fact that the absence of a face or just a partial glimpse addressed not only the anonymity of a crowd of people, but helped me the viewer become part of the crowd. Just call it a "happy accident".