Stunt Posters Graffiti

Today’s watercolor experiment:

During my wanderings around New York City in the 1990s, when I lived there, I would sometimes find scenes that had a combination of image and information that mirrored my inner thoughts.  Perhaps such themes are omnipresent but require just the right frame of mind to see, understand and photograph.

I remember the building whose ripped posters and iron fence attracted me, as PS 1, a school that was converted to an art space. My narrative of the image I photographed reads from top to bottom. At the top, a poster that looks like a woodcut, pictures a couple engaging in a romantic moonlit kiss. Immediately below are three posters entitled ‘STUNT’; below that are spikes of the wrought iron fence.

At that time in my life, I was feeling lonely and the prospects of finding someone seemed slim. It seemed to me, the very idea of romance was nothing but a stunt, possibly a dangerous one at that (as indicated by the iron spikes).

Watercolor: Building Facade with Posters and Woodcut-Like Image

Stunt Poster Graffiti
6″x4″ 140# Mixed Media Paper

In the shaded area, I used a combination of white and earth-colored conte chalk, to bring out the shadow details. I started drawing the wrought iron fence with a dip-ink pen, but ran into problems. I completed the fence with a .5mm fine-tip india ink pen, re-inking after painting the building facade.

There is a significant difference between the reference photograph and my watercolor sketch. In the photo, the spikes of the fence are covered by a horizontal rail, providing protection from the spikes. This is not how I remember the scene. It seemed a lot more dangerous.

Photograph: Building Facade with Posters and Woodcut-Like Image

Stunt Poster Graffiti – Reference Graffiti

Sometimes a subconscious idea seeking a perfect set of narrative icons, ignores a detail or two that doesn’t fit. A street photographer has a modicum of control, but not total control. For total control, one must paint.

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