I am a visual artist based in New York City and my subject is the rapidly changing urban landscape as experienced through the construction sites of super-tall buildings in midtown Manhattan. Observational and expressive drawing and painting undergird my process. My media range from India ink and watercolor on paper to acrylics and oils on wood panel or on canvas.
This project dates to 2015, when construction of a 42-floor building began outside my painting studio window on West 39th Street. My first impulse was to move. Instead, I decided to stay and make paintings of the process as the new building went up and blocked my view. I started calling it the Monolith. It had this slab-like quality, this immovability — and it began to represent other monolithic things in my life that couldn't be shifted. It became a metaphor for things we can’t change, but have to learn to live with and to work around in some way.
Once the Monolith was finished – now the Aliz Hotel on West 40th Street – my interest in construction took me outdoors, painting at a travel easel on sidewalks across Midtown Manhattan. I have now spent several years documenting skyscraping building projects that are dramatically changing the cityscape, such as Hudson Yards, Billionaire’s Row on West 57th Street, the new MoMA tower on 53rd Street, and One Vanderbilt rising next to Grand Central Station.
I work from the same vantage points multiple times over many months. It is the in-between building stages that capture my imagination. It has been an incredible experience to document these massive buildings as they rise from holes in the ground, surrounded and crowned by towering cranes. I stand at street level, dwarfed by massive forms, striving to capture the light and weather as it changes endlessly across a man-made mountainous landscape where each time I come back the structures have changed!