Southside from Duquesne Overlook

Made for my friends in 2013.
Made for my friends in 2013.

Happy Saturday morning! I was at my friend’s house and thought I would get a picture of this for my website. This is the longest distance shot I’ve painted. I think it highlights the tone of the city more clearly than many of my other paintings.

There’s a quote from the “Crying of lot 49” I think about, often, when I’m painting. The main character reaches a point that she describes as “walking among matrices of a great digital computer, the zeroes and ones twinned above, hanging like balanced mobiles, right and left, ahead, thick, maybe endless. Behind the hieroglyphic streets there would be either transcendent meaning, or only the earth.” I think that even from the place of faith from which I operate, there’s a certain fear and questioning that resonates for me in that quote that I feel when looking out into the city. On some level, after having painted urban landscapes for years now, I know I’m in love with cities. On another level, I can’t help but feel that the fascination I have with them is propelled by my trepidation at the hieroglyphic nature of shapes they use as part of their existence. This painting above, in particular, expresses a tone of a large swath of a place people are living. The buildings, their tone, in some super liminal way represent the lives of the people who live there and the lives of the people who lived there before. I am at times confounded by power of that idea.

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