New Jersey Meadowlands

The meadowlands, nestled between New York City and Newark, is a strange sort of interstitial zone. It belongs to neither nature nor to man. The grasslands and birds of nature are abundant. Yet, so are the derelict factories and warehouses of yesteryear. The unwanted detritus of civilization is cast off into the meadowlands, ranging from garbage to industry.

Through this region of indeterminate identity pass millions of commuters on their way to and from work. Many look out the windows of passing trains, planes, and cars. Yet few care to observe the lapping tides and bizarre beauty of this unwanted strip of land. The views below are drawn from memory. They show various scenes from my daily train ride on NJ Transit between Newark Broad Street and Hoboken Terminal.

Dino-Ville

In the New York of my imagination, dinosaurs emerge from the Museum of Natural History to haunt the city “that never sleeps.” They roam the streets engaging in dinosaur activities: scaring people, stealing from butcher shops, and terrorizing the skyline. For one night, the fabled city is theirs.

Political Cartoons

The following images are political style cartoons, mocking nationalism, fascism, or communism. They are intentionally drawn in the pedantic and high-contrast style of propaganda images from the Soviet Union. The rigid use of geometry and symmetry is an intentional effect.

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McDonald’s Fast Food Slaughter Machine. This image is inspired by H.G. Wells 1895 book The Time Machine. The world above is a peaceful garden. Monsters live in the world below; they emerge only at night with their nasty machines to harvest people for “USDA approved grade A” burger patties.

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A Goliath made of corporate logos fights a tiny David dressed as Uncle Sam.

Water

The images below are a graphic reflection on water, ships, and the machinery that surrounds the movement of water. The stylized representation of smoke, waves, and night sky is inspired by Japanese woodcuts and Art Deco paintings.

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New York Architecture

Walking in New York City is always an adventure. No two streets are the same as the dynamic city constantly evolves (not always for the best). A glassy new skyscraper climbs from the bedrock. The soaring suspension bridge spans the flowing river,  a reminder of an older New York of docks and shipping vessels. Millions of anonymous people pass me on the bustling sidewalk. For me, it is sometimes strange experience of being simultaneously known and unknown. I know exactly where I am and where I am walking. Yet, I am simply another face among countless millions; I am anonymous. Like the buildings and bridges people have grown to accept as a way of life, I vanish into the crowd. I become merely a helpless extension of the hectic bustle of New York.

Harbor City

Newark’s Hidden River

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It is ironic that Newark should ignore the very river it was founded on – The Passaic River. It was the pristine wooded river our city’s founding fathers first saw in 1666. It was our city’s artery to the sea and industry’s source of income. It was the throbbing, flowing heart of our city.

After the automobile, the Passaic was no longer the watery highway of old. It is now this industrial town’s polluted heart. The bland corporate towers of Newark’s “Renaissance” meet our city’s industrial past at the riverbank. The murky waters contain secrets that will remain forever unknown. The industrial past clings on, refusing to vanish in forgotten waters. The river of change, the Passaic River, is a place of shifting contrasts where past meets present.

The river flows on.

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To see a film featuring the work above: click here