Riding the Rails
Chicago’s El Tracks have a distinct sense of place and history. The overhead tracks are old, rusted, with layers of paint, graffiti, posters, and garbage. Having to run to catch or stand and wait for the train or bus in all types of weather and among all types of people is a quintessential aspect of city living. The wait used to be a bit more interminable, in the days before cell phones and bus tracker apps, now we can keep ourselves occupied (distracted) and more or less avoid awkward eye contact and unpleasant flickers of social anxiety. The train connects the city, it connects home and work, the social and the private self, the past and the present.
A painting is limited by its dimensions and so the track or street could go on infinitely beyond the canvas. We fill in the blanks – where that line starts, where it ends. We bring our own experiences to the painting. I find that recognizing a specific location helps the viewer feel “at home,” less uncertain about their place in relation to the world and even to the art itself.
Availability: All of the El Tracks paintings are currently in private collections. I may return to this subject at some point.