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.



3 thoughts on “Seeing Art in a Desolate Landscape

  1. Who could not admire the vision and perspective of a true urban artist equipped with a camera and a landscape very willing to be rediscovered and made new and clean again. Often, her canvas is not always pretty but always holding us captive to a new and promising renaissance of an area long abandoned and deserted. Cate, you have captured the essence of desolation but with the promise of rebirth and renewal. Great work, as always!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s