Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gowanus Canal

12" x 18"

Here's a few new paintings I just completed.  They were done fairly close to my studio, where 2nd ave. dead-ends by the canal. The future site of the new Whole Foods is off to the right...big news in the neighborhood over the past few years.  Long story short, Whole Foods bought a huge lot in Gownaus (3rd ave. and 3rd street), did some tests on the soil, found it to be completely contaminated with heavy metals and oil waste, dropped the project like a hot potato, then resumed a few years later after agreeing to do the millions of dollars clean up on the land. The entire canal area was designated a Superfund site last year, which caused a lot of uproar and heavy debating about the future of the area. All in all, I think the designation was the best option, allowing for the most realistic option for cleaning up the area. Well enough about that...I'm just a painter.

The spot I was painting from was in a really weird area: a dead end overlooking the canal. To my left was the Department of Sanitation lot, where they store the trucks, plows and salt; to my right, the garage and dispatch unit for those double decker buses that do the city sight seeing tours.  It's sometimes oddly comforting painting in locations like this. The hum of the machinery and activity adds to my sense of focus and purpose...I guess I just like painting alongside mechanics and construction workers, too. A lot of them usually come over and check out what I'm doing periodically...with the occasional "Yo, check out Picasso" or "Hey, it's Michaelangelo!" They probably think it the strangest thing in the world that I'm out there with an easel painting this shit-hole of a place.

As I was painting, all these tiny gnats were swarming around me, coming up from out of the ground at the edge of the canal. They kept getting stuck in the wet paint, which I would have to pick out later in the studio. I also ended up inhaling a bunch while I was out there....hopefully they weren't carcinogenic.

10" x 15"

1 comment:

  1. Love these new painting. The Gowanus area is so crazy messed up in so many ways, yet you capture beauty there! xo