From Lens to Eye to Hand || Parrish Art Museum

The closer you look, the harder it is to believe that these photos are actually paintings.Richard McLean (1934-2014)
Western Tableau with Rhodesian Ridgeback (Trails West), 1993
Oil on linen


Richard McLean (1934-2014)
(Detail) Western Tableau with Rhodesian Ridgeback (Trails West), 1993
Oil on linen


Charles Bell (1935-1995)
Troupe, 1983
Oil on canvas


Ralph Goings (1928-2016)
Miss Albany Diner, 1993
Oil on canvas


Robert Cottingham (b. 1935)
Radios, 1977
Oil on linen


Robert Bechtle (b. 1932)
’73 Malibu, 1974
Oil on canvas


John Kacere (1920-1999)
Untitled, 1974
Watercolour on paper


John Kacere (1920-1999)
Reina ’79, 1979
Oil on linen


Randy Dudley (b. 1950)
Gowanus Canal from 2nd Street, 1986
Oil on canvas


Davis Cone (b. 1950)
State-Autumn Evening, 2002
Acrylic on canvas


Don Jacot (b. 1949)
Herald Square, 1936 (After Berenice Abbott), 2013
Oil on linen


Don Jacot (b. 1949)
(Detail) Herald Square, 1936 (After Berenice Abbott), 2013
Oil on linen


From Lens to Eye to Hand, Photorealism 1969 to Today, was an exhibition that took a fresh look at this contemporary art movement that found its roots in the mid-1960s in New York and California, evolving from the then dominant movements, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art and Minimalism. And, while Photorealism reached its height in the ’70s, there are some magnificent works proving that the movement continues today.

Parrish Art Museum
Water Mill, Long Island

September 3rd, 2017

Long Weekend || Long Island

On Labor Day weekend. No longer summer, not yet autumn, just perfect for a quick road trip to discover firsthand just how long Long Island really is.

Starting with a good lunch in the most patriotic diner on the island: Oconee East in Islip. Which, obviously, has a Greek connection like so many diners around New York. With gigantic portions and over-the-top festive decoration, which is seasonal and changes to match the occasion, it was a great first stop. I wonder what they will do for St. Valentines’… Our sightseeing tour started at the easternmost tip on the island, the Lighthouse of Montauk. It was a  grey, chilly day which explains the absence of views from the top. Those at ground level, however, were just as interesting. In the Keepers’ house, now a neatly organised museum displaying historical documents, photographs and objects, we learned a lot about the history and preservation of the lighthouse, which is no mean feat considering its decades-long battle with erosion.  Dusk found us in Amagansett, a pretty smart resort in East Hampton. Evenings can be eerily quiet on the island, in September. 

Long Island, September 2nd, 2017

A day trip to Poughkeepsie

First, I was intrigued by the Native American name. Looking for its meaning, I found out that it is a mispronunciation of a Native American word referring to the location of a spring of fresh water that was used by the first travelers as a rest stop on the trail that ran along the river. Poughkeepsie is derived from ”uppuqui ipis ing”, uppuqui pronounced oo-poo-kee, and it means ”the reed-covered lodge by the little water-place”. [source]

Then, came an episode of the ”Great American Railroad Journeys”, a BBC travel documentary in which Michael Portillo crosses the United States by train using an 1879 copy of Appleton’s Guidebook. In this episode, Portillo makes a stop on his way to Albany, to walk across the former Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, built in 1889.

In Appleton’s time the bridge existed on paper only but, just ten years later there it was, the first Hudson River rail crossing north of New York City, intended to move mostly freight from Midwest to New England. In peak times, as many as 50 trains a day used to cross the bridge, but by 1974, when it was destroyed by fire, the traffic had dropped to one train a day.

The fire may have been extinguished but the damaged bridge remained closed, in disrepair for 35 years, until October 2009 when it was reopened as Walkway Over the Hudson with funding by the State and Federal government bodies responsible for historic preservation, private philanthropic organisations, but mainly the initiative and extensive support  by local residents.

At 1,28 miles – just over 2 km long, it claims the first place as the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Open daily from 7 am to sunset, easily reached from Manhattan: a two-hour trip running mostly alongside the Hudson, on Metro-North from Grand Central Terminal.

Attention, however, you need to plan accordingly: except for the obvious breezy conditions one may expect on a bridge, it can get really hot (as in boiling) on this particular one. There is nowhere to hide from the sun and relief will come only once you’ve crossed on either side and especially Highland, where the Hudson Valley Rail Trail continues for miles under the welcome leafy shade.

August 13th, 2017