Originally posted on Thursday, July 4, 2013
Oil on Canvas
42 x 26
When my friend commissioned this painting the only direction I had were a couple of images that caught his eye. The common factor was a pretty monochromatic piece with an intense blue area somewhere in the painting. He gave me the perfect amount of input in what catches his eye but gave ultimate freedom in the end result. (An aside, I turned down a commission once because the person was too specific on what she wanted, the painting she was looking at except with her husbands yacht in it. Good lord that would have been a painfully uninteresting piece of shit.) OK back on track. The grand idea here is this ominous towering city in a sort of dreamlike fog. But the city isn't a trap or so oppressive of an environment that you can't escape. Between the buildings is a wide avenue opening to the breaking dawn just filtering through the fog.
A couple years ago I did a city scape painting called Rat Trap, which came out of a time in my life where I felt trapped. (1999-2009 section) I feel this painting, Cold City, is coming from a place in my life that is filled with a lot more hope in the future. I think if you could put these two together, eve though the rat trap is more colorful, I feel it is more ominous. I called this a cold city, but it doesn't mean a city without life. I see it more as a cold facade but underneath is filled with life and warmth. While I worked on this I documented stages of my process. I began with a bright orange background for a hidden subtext of warmth, that even when the city seems cold and insensitive there can be found warmth in it's humanity. The edges, which are unseen in photos, are painted in the orange to refer back to this warmth below the apparent frosty exterior.