John Hartman

John Hartman: New York, 2005

New York, 2005, oil on linen, 99 x 132 inches

New York

The airplane circled Manhattan to land at LaGuardia. The unfolding view was breathtaking. The estuary of the Hudson River was bathed in a warm afternoon light and as far as I could see the city spread before me—wharves, ships, bridges, tunnels, railroads, office towers, apartments.

I decided I wanted to paint all of this and spent the next few days walking, looking and sketching. At ground level the city is all smell and sound and movement. I began to see New York as a pulsing body with its roads as arteries, its buildings as an armored skin, the moving water and the sky as a breathing lung, an open space of intense light.