Zenfolio | PATRICIA L. BROWN | Visual Journalism: Baltimore
Created 12-Jan-14
7 photos

I've always been visually interested in the human figure moving through doorways and it is a theme that comes back time and again in the work. The Holliday and Saratoga St. farmer's market here in Baltimore City is an amazing place with "Van Gogh starry night" themed pillars and an array of costumed performers playing their part alongside Maryland farmers, artisans and other vendors. They sell their produce, baked goods, handmade objects, ices, fragrances, and flowers while a constant stream of people flow like water among the underpass caverns. The moving figures are held by the openings between the pillars, and framed by the network of highways up above post and lintel-like. They are laden down with backpacks, bags, children and cell phones and make the most unusually beautiful shapes because of their burdens. I'm interested in the layers of commerce that happen very quickly as the figures meet, join in arabesque, release, and part...and then move on. It is somewhat like a kaleidoscope pressed to the eye and held up to the sun but without the randomness of the movement within. Like Isabel Bishop's walking figures in the subway, mine are on the move, but unlike her's mine meet and talk and sometimes even play.
I decided to start journaling visually in a more direct way on these little panels, trying not to take too much license with what I'm painting; to stay with what I see and to invent very little. In this way it feels like "going back to the beginning" in the studio, but honestly, Baltimore visually offers so much, and it runs the gambit of hilarious-to uneasy (and maybe even troubling) when large crowds of people get together in the city. At this stage of the project, and just for now, I'm content to watch it all as it walks by without imposing too much of myself on its natural behavior.
Farmer's Market IFarmer's Market IIFarmer's Market IIIFarmer's Market IVFarmer's Market VFarmer's Market VIFarmer's Market 7

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