The Nights are Too Big (A clock)

“The Nights are Too Big”

This took a long, long time. It’s the 40th painting for my show, and it’s more sculptural than almost all the projects I’ve had (except for, of course, the sculptures).

Obviously, it’s a day and night clock. The night side is supposed to look precipitous, crowded, and enormous. I did General Braddock Towers twice to give a sense of scale and acknowledge that I really do appreciate GBT across the street, even with all the flashing lights that come around.

Which things work as synecdoche? How does one construct a microcosm? With this art show, I’ve been moving around a space of symbolism. I’ve joked (was it a joke?) that I’ve been trying to make the North Braddock Extended Cinematic Universe with my paintings. I’ve taken that sort of seriously, and I’ve been drifting into paintings like the clock where I am trying to evoke the feeling of the neighborhood with little parts of it. What I’m hoping is that even if people don’t know the specifics of the geography, they’ll be able to feel the intent.

I appreciate how much shared context affects the power of art. Making a hyper local art show is an attempt at using shared context to my advantage as much as possible. With that said, the art I’ve enjoyed I’ve enjoyed without understanding much of the subtext. I’ve always liked Degas’ ballerinas- I didn’t know the class/sex issues in play until I was in my late twenties. I wonder how cognizant the impressionists were of the potential timelessness of their art. Weirdly, because they were interested in ephemerality- the shifting atmosphere in the look of a church, the moments of one small pond, the shifting action of a horse- they stumbled into timelessness. I don’t think I’m trying to make timeless art, and I don’t have the eye or execution of someone like Degas, but I do think there is potential longevity in the specificity of what I’m doing. Like the impressionists, I am trying to locate my work in as specific a moment as possible. That looks different for me, but the attempt is similar.

Here are two more shots of the painting so you can see the 3D angles:

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