|"Off Green," mixed media on birch, 36" x 48"|
Before Le Corbusier raised concrete on pilotis or Frank Lloyd Wright cantilevered a home over a creek in a forest, city ravines exposed the understructures of bridges and the support sides of walls over and around pedestrianized greenways. And organically, intrinsically.
Ravines are still vaguely shocking. They're "edges" where ecosystems meet, in this case the wildest parts of the humanmade and a kind of struggling, constantly resurfacing and reasserting natural world. Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist, points out that in ecology this "edge effect" is where the most new lifeforms are created.
I like the slightly dangerous side to ravines. They provide cover from adults so teens can experiment. Artists find all kinds of intriguing surfaces to spray. Locals walk their dogs or jog. Coyotes and foxes creep. You might not want to go down at night, but otherwise they're for the curious and playful.
I also like that, on the one hand, they show the machinery from the inside, in this day and age of supposed political transparency; and on the other hand, they're just free and wild enough to keep the fearful and weary away, and so generate mystery, the wellspring of art.
In many ways, it's incredible they haven't been filled in or aren't surveilled to the hilt by CCTV cameras.
Though I'd bet you an eyeball that fight is coming.
Happily, this painting has sold.