COG4 Copy
City of Glass 4 - (Hope Falls, hope falls...)     100x70cms


TUES 15 MAY 2012

The latest painting in the series is now complete, a very different take on Paul Auster's strange tale 'City of Glass' from 'The New York Trilogy'. The idea for the painting came from a biblical quote in the text about the enormous scale of the Tower of Babel, where 'a man would have to walk for three days to escape its shadow'.  With the new Babel in New York, taking the southern tip of Manhattan as a starting point and walking for three days northwards, where would you finally escape the shadow of the Tower?

I calculated a distance of two hundred miles if you walked continuously for three days so I was looking for places two hundred miles north of New York with names that somehow connected to the novel. I was thrilled to find two stand-out candidates, Truthville and Hope Falls. Truthville, because of the novel's manipulations of truth and Hope Falls, because of the play on words: it's both a place name and a description of the despair and disintegration of Quinn as his assignment fails....I plumped for Hope Falls (blue spot in the painting) but Truthville will be my next piece. 

I liked the idea of positioning Manhattan centrally on the bottom edge and making something very small, very powerful. The idea was to have the shadow of the Tower over the landscape ending at Hope Falls and this dark shadow was painted several times but never looked right. A consequence of repainting this shadow and scrubbing/removing it, was a rich residue of intense red that suggested a bleeding wound. I showed the painting to a group of artists from one of our courses and the consensus was because of the beauty and mystery of the deep red stain, there was no need to impose the tower. They were right of course but I'll make sure the Tower is visible in the next painting 'Truthville' When they are side by side the Tower will be implied in this painting.


COG4 1 Copydetail - Lake Champlain