Thursday, March 11, 2010

The City

Tim Barber

This photograph has been on my mind for several days now. I look at hundreds of images a day for the art website, and often it's like living in a dreamworld, the images flow past my eyes, some hold my attention for a moment, some longer; but then, there's that picture like the one above which speaks to my reality.

Who is this man, holding his hat, dashing up the concrete stairs? He's a tiny figure to the backdrop of an immense city structure. And a four-lane highway rolls underneath like some giant asphalt river.

The lines of the photograph are also interesting to me. They signify movement, with the bars angling up, and the thick flank of the concrete making a wide zigzag. The fact that the (mostly straight) lines are crossing, the highway lines with the stairway lines, lends the photograph to a sort of confusion.

The man is obviously in a hurry, rushing up the stairs. But to where? To what?

Great art is a false mirror that reflects the truth. When I look at this picture I see myself, I see myself in that little man. I am racing up a monolithic structure, which I can hardly see, because don't have the view I have right now, looking at the picture. I have the view of the little man.

I'm not really looking around, I'm running. Like the Mad Hatter, I'm late. Always one thing and then the next. But I catch glimpses of this immensity I'm climbing, and it's cold, it's stark, but bigger than me, much bigger than me. It's not me. It's a city compared to me.



dedmonds said...

thank you for this post

Lethe said...

you're quite welcome . . . just about to do another

Holly Friesen said...

Powerful image, especially when posted w/ your words. "The river of concrete below" particularly poignant..creating roads to move faster and faster, to where?

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