July 02, 2008

Speaking of the Liverpool Cityscape

This artist, with the common artists name of Ben Johnson, was in residence here for a few years, at the Walker Art Gallery, creating a huge painting of the view of Liverpool from the Mersey. It's brightly lit, the sun comes at the buildings from all angles, there's no cars or people - so it's sort of an idealized version of Liverpool, a "dream of Liverpool" as he says, which the audience at the gallery fills in & projects itself onto. (That's just an artist poetically shying away from admitting his painting is a ghost town.) It's just spectacularly detailed, I cannot figure out how he got that level of minute detail on all the buildings, & the buildings going into the distance. Apparently, he didn't use very much brush-work, more paint-guns & stencils. If you have time, take a look at his cityscapes of Jerusalem & Hong-Kong, altho Liverpool is bigger & more terrific. (Click on it to see it larger.)

Also, if you're ever in Liverpool: - There's really nothing quite like the International Slavery Museum. It's quite powerful & fascinating, & unique. Relevent that it's in Liverpool because it was a major hub of the slave trade, where the ships started & where the merchants made their money. The period of rapid urban growth was fueled by a massive influx of slave money - & a lot of those beautiful buildings in the cityscape above were built with that wealth.

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