Well, the second painting of the series I’m creating is now complete. Its title is “The Big Apple is Burning” and it’s a rather dark metaphor of the destruction of a city by fire. I must admit that it was a very emotionally draining work to paint, even though I was only working with ceramics and metal objects. The concept of it was draining.
The good news is that the painting came out exceptionally well. It has lots of drama with darks and lights, and there is constant movement around the canvas. It’s similar to when you are actually witnessing a fire, wherein your eyes dart everywhere, working to take it all in and make sense of an irrational act. This is what I mean by “draining”. Try looking at the finished piece (shown above) and see if your eyes don’t keep traveling around the entire image. It’s captivating!
As you can see, there is a plentiful and predominant use of reds and yellows. The ceramic pieces I selected all look as if they are either burnt or melting. There are also multiple references to fire, such as the burning candles (I actually had candles burning as I was painting), lanterns and candlesticks. And, as in the first painting of the series, there is a single apple sitting at the base of the canvas. This time, however, the knife isn’t just next to the apple, but actually cutting through it, indicating that the damage to the city is real, and not just a threat. Heavy stuff but what a marvelous metaphor!
So, I would like to pronounce this painting as a successful endeavor and I’m now on to the third painting in the series. In this third painting the metaphor will depict the dark influences and powers that be that are responsible for the decline and what the city has become. Again, I will use only still life objects, and I promise that it won’t be as emotionally draining as the second painting, but it will still have a sinister feel to it. I have begun the preliminary sketches, and the canvas is prepared and ready to go.
I’m also considering doing a fourth painting in the series – one that is more upbeat and offers hope for the future, since the first three are a strong social statement of the negative current scene. I’ll have to see how the third painting progresses. Either way, I’ll let you know.