A few weeks ago, as I was walking along 2nd Street in Long Island City on the East River, I wandered into a wide desolate urban landscape completely devoid of its former structures. I was thrilled. As I stood there gazing at the remaining piles of dirt, rock, brick, splintered wood, rust, and left over construction equipment I let my artistic muse take over.
Blue skies and puffy white clouds, a tranquil river and the Manhattan skyline in the distance made a perfect contrasting backdrop to the images I was about to create. As I looked around me at the broken fragments of another time and industry I saw sculptures. Twisted, mangled, sharp, dusty, dirty abstract city sculptures.
There were large iron beams bent and corroded to a deep crusty red, looking like giant pieces of bacon frying in the sun. Hills of dark brown dirt lined up like a little mountain range, with just the tips of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings peeking up between the valleys. Scattered all over the ground and pushed into piles were huge chunks of gleaming pyrite, boulders, pieces of metal and glass. Looming over me were mixtures of sand and soil bulldozed into cliffs fringed with hairs of green grass. A tumble of heavy concrete dividers tossed like sticks in the dirt next to a patch of dried mud cracked in a mosaic design. A weird and wonderful sculpture garden.
Everywhere I turned, I saw in this lonely landscape bits and pieces of buildings from a century past but, in my mind’s eye I saw on this same spot a new group of modern 21st century buildings that will soon stand upon the shores of the East River in this boro of Queens, NY.