The Parking Deck
I took this picture while hanging out with Jeff Song (who might have his portrait on this website soon, stay tuned). What I I like about it is that I think I got at the beautiful/slightly ominous nature of the parking deck when painting this picture. I tried this before with No Man’s Land. I don’t think a lot of people really liked “No Man’s Land”, but in my mind it’s sort of the thesis of what I’m trying to do. Sometimes when I’m walking around in communal space I feel a sort of creeping panic, which is a feeling I’d love to share with other people. Additionally, the thing I always feel in Pittsburgh is that the city around me is stunningly beautiful- I wouldn’t keep painting Pittsburgh if I didn’t think so.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the disappearance of communal space due to the internet. The more we do things online, the less we go outside and see the people who live near us. I mean, that’s sort of fine, except for the part where it means we might only see the people we want to see. There are so many people who seem really different than me when I go to the grocery store, and I think about them. I wish I could paint there portraits, just so I could think about them in longer, more intentional increments. I saw two people at a coffee shop today covered in tattoos, reading nietzshe, about 40 years old. Every time I see someone who has chosen different ways to embody their existence, I think about what’s I’ve chosen for myself. For instance, I think about why I don’t have tattoos. Clothing makes me think. Haircuts make me think. So, the prospect of not being around people as a society makes me worry. Right now, I think people find their pockets and bunker down with people that share stuff with them. Mostly, people and their communities have values feedback, I think. It’s one of the reasons I believe in painting shared spaces- an attempt to validate what the mundane does for us. I think even buildings can confront values feedback. Seeing other people’s cars, thinking about who drives them. Thinking about how important cars are by looking at a sagging parking deck. Thinking about the aggregate of all those cars moving around each other trying not to get hit. These are some of the thoughts I think when I paint my landscapes.