Seagate

Acrylic dispersion on canvas, 60 x 96 inches.
Private collection

I began work the eight foot wide painting Seagate in the fall of 2012, just a few weeks before Hurricane Sandy made landfall near New York City on October 29th. 

Though the painting was always about a large amount of water, the initial underpainting and sketches were inspired by Frederic Edwin Church’s Niagara. When I returned to work on the painting in November of 2012 my focus was completely altered by the effects of the recent storm on the city I call home. Without fully understanding where I was going with the piece, I changed course and began painting something like the familiar view over New York Harbor toward New Jersey. As the painting grew more specific in the final months of work, I tacked up several old photographs of the view from the Seagate neighborhood in Brooklyn, which had been devastated by the storm. Although the finished painting is not specific to those photos or even necessarily to Brooklyn, the name stuck.

While working on the painting, I took snapshots with my phone, usually at the end of a day’s work. I later assembled these snapshots into a simple animation showing my progress on the painting though to its completion about 6 months after I began working. 

Seagate was first shown at Blank Space Gallery in New York as part of my 2013 solo exhibit Backlight. The painting was also featured in a 2016 exhibit at Chautauqua Institution which was reviewed in The Chautauquan Daily. Several of the reworked inkjet prints that I used while working on the painting were included in the 2013 drawing exhibit Unsteady Ground at City Without Walls in Newark, New Jersey.