Artist Statement - Two Views of New York G. Scott MacLeod
The inspiration for this series comes from American photographer Monica Tatjana Gotzís pinhole photographs. Monica and I both decided to collaborate on a project that would involve me responding to her photography and immediate environment, which is New York City, specifically Central Park. With her simple cardboard photographic device Monica has recorded the bridges and architecture of Central Park and the surrounding areas. In doing so she has captured atmospheres that are quite unlike the hurried pace of daily life in New York. In her photos we see quiet oases of tranquility, oblique and sometimes obscure views of the city, and tonal qualities that give the viewer a sense of time. The many layers of the city and its history, both natural and manmade, are exposed but with a voyeuristic eye. The surroundings are vague and uncertain. The central focus of each photo usually involves human-made structures, such as the Bandshell or the Winterdale Arch or a Bow bridge in Central Park.
My drawings and paintings are not derived from the observation of reality at all. Instead, they draw directly from the atmosphere and subject matter of Monicaís pinhole photos. My drawings and paintings are resplendent with a sense of the captured moment. Each subject is brought to life with a delight in the build up of atmosphere on the drawn and painted surface. From arches, to bridge structures, to the tranquility of a Central Park pond, all of my drawings and paintings are based on Monicaís photographs. One would never have known this without having been informed of it. I have used water soluble graphite, water colour and oil paint with a strong coloristic sense, to produce a series fluid drawings and lively oils on masonite for this show. In the process I have tried to transcend the ordinary, and re-fabricate another time and a sense of the mystery and beauty of a place that is truly remarkable.