Neighborhood: East Harlem
This Acrylic on canvas resembles a manhole, but it is not a manhole. It is a heating system cover. In many of my paintings, I pull up certain text that I like, leaving the other text on the manhole down. This is a prime example of my pulling up text that I thought was striking, i.e., the words New York Works. If you look at the back of most of these paintings, you can see the original text and what the manhole itself looked like. But on the front side of the paintings, you see only what I bring up.
I knew I was going to have a day off on the 4th of July and had already scouted a location to paint. I like working on holidays because I feel I am getting ahead of everybody else who isn’t working. I also wanted to paint something with a 4th of July theme. That day, the weather was good and with my paints in my box (reds, whites, and blues), I headed downtown to the location. On the way, I found this one and decided to do it instead, but there was one problem: half of the manhole was almost buried underneath the sidewalk. That meant I had to recreate some of its the round edges. As you can see on the left side of the painting, the edges are not as clean as those on some of my other paintings. I really enjoyed painting “New York Works.” It reminds me of the 4th of July and of fireworks. (sold)