SHGC The Womens Art Movement (Realism) Part 5Presentation Transcript
New York townscapes mostly.
Early paintings generally close-up, straight on views of store-fronts, such as ‘The Candy Store’ 1969 – much effect derived from the artists’ skill in combining reflection and transparency produced by large sheets of glass.
Later work he tackles more complex views – windows at an angle to the spectator and the pattern of reflections is more complex – ofthen makes use of deep perspective.
Uses photographs as a basis for his paintings – but alters source material to fit preconceived compositional ideas.
Almost always eliminates people – seeks to objectify his scenes – work appears cool, static, closed – if the store or cafeteria, or reflected, ghost like in a shop window. Subject is architecture, not people.
Interested in the aesthetic pleasures of refined compositional arrangements.
Drawn to reflections because they are in some ways visually more stimulating than the solid reality they mirror.
Loneliness (theme) – Urban streets often appear empty, devoid of life and the glassy finish of the street furniture and buildings act to exclude the human, reflecting only more mechanical features in their mirrored surfaces.
Americaness – takes the American city streets with its advertising and unique telephone booths and diners as his subjects or portrays life on the road, a kind of Route 66 version of American existence.
Estes' paintings are not a reflection of how the eye sees, or how the camera sees, but of how the artist sees.
What Estes saw in the late 1960s were slices of ordinary urban environments--street scenes and storefronts such as The Candy Store (1969).
Here Estes applied the same exacting precision to the reflective surfaces, architectural elements, and neon lights as he used for the candy bars. But the small figures across the street--mirrored in the plate-glass window remain elusive.
The monumental 34th Street Manhattan, Looking East (1979), is exceptional in Estes' works of this period for its inclusion of numerous and clearly rendered pedestrians.
It also reveals the flexibility that appeared in his painting by 1979. "The lighting is pure imagination," he explained.
Estes photographed this scene with a 4 x 5 view camera, a large- format camera that has to he set up on a tripod, not with the hand-held 55mm camera he had used for many of his earlier works.
Post Office, 33rd and 8th 2004 Downtown-Reflections 2001