My husband is a huge car fan and I often get drafted into watching automobile programs on TV. A few weeks ago, we were watching a show filmed in Detroit: the birthplace of the automotive industry. The show’s drivers raced and did stunts throughout the city, including inside several abandoned buildings.
The buildings shown included an historic theater, a giant manufacturing facility and an old strip mall. The theater had stunning architecture with soaring windows and gilded frescoes still on the ceiling. The factory was so big you could use it as a racetrack; a testament to booming economies and abundance of steel. The strip mall was old and sad.
All of these buildings were dilapidated beyond repair. Time and the elements had irreversibly damaged structures that once represented art and life and materials of earlier times. How sad!
In “Urban Decay” I wanted to capture the sense of loss and yet show the glimmer of prior architectural gems. I began with a Jute background on which I appliqued materials from many older projects. I then painted over the collage with three colors: gold representing the splendor of earlier times, red for the pain of loss and black for the irreversible decay.
With its irregular border, “Urban Decay” measures approximately 36” H x 24” W. It was constructed with Jute, silk, cotton and polyester fabrics and quilted with polyester thread.