Monday, September 3, 2007

Art Scene

Awhile ago I was flipping through an art book at home, and quite accidently stumbled upon this:

I about jumped out of my chair. You see, that was painted in 1974, and today, the scene looks like this:
I walk by here every day that I leave our apartment as this is 79th Street and Broadway; when I come home from work, I exit the subway right there.

It's not that different, of course. But I never expected to see part of my day-to-day life in art books.

The former is a painting by Richard Estes, who apparently lives somewhere in the neighborhood, because there are nearly a dozen such paintings, based on photos that he took up and down Broadway for the past 35 years.

Here is one looking uptown at 79th and Broadway: and here it is today (from not quite the same angle):

When I've seen these 20th century photo-quality paintings in museums, I've always sort-of wondered "What's the point?".

But at least today, I smiled a bit more than usual walking up and down Broadway, thinking that it's both changed and not changed over my lifetime.

And I wonder, if people like this had stumbled across themselves in a museum in the 1560s, would they think there's a point?