• According to a map of Manhattan zip codes here, my best guess would be that Torczyner's office would be in one of these buildings.


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Acrylic on paper
38 1/2 x 38 1/2 inches


I had been meaning to make this piece for about a year after I began notcing the Twin Towers in backgrounds of various videogames. I liked the idea of how pre-September 11th games now carry an unintentional political/emotional charge if they contain any images of the twin towers.

I am intrigued by how that kind of worldwide trauma even finds its way into the most innocuous corners of our experience. There's a kind of echo that happens whenever we see images of the twin towers in old movies, photos, anything, even video games; it's a kind of sad "well, there it is, we know what's coming". And that's not even taking into account the active charging of such imagery after September 11th. My goodness, it's quite a wallop in total!

I was tempted to give this thing several titles. I thought of calling it "Murmur", because it is exactly that and also because I was listening to REM's first album a lot.

I was also tempted to make a reference to a really weird art/historical reference I hadn't intended (kind of like the guys who made the graphics for this game, eh?). As I worked on the image, I remembered a painting by Rene Magritte called "Le Chateau de Pyrenees". Once I sat down to the old computer and did a little online research I found out that Magritte had been commissioned to paint "Chateau" by his lawyer Harry Torczyner to cover up a window in Torczyner's office.

Guess where Torczyner's office and, subsequently, "Le Chateau de Pyrenees" were? Manhattan Island. Not in the WTC, though; that would have been too freaking weird. But still, it's pretty damned weird enough. Is it some kind of hyper-particular collective unconsciousness?

PS: I put a note on the image marking the likely location of Torczyner's office.

So what is the title? The zip code for the World Trade Center (Torczyner's office was in zip code 10017). The number is now a reference to something that isn't there anymore.

As for how it was made, I laid out all the elements on a square background and then composed it using the Fibonacci Spiral, albeit crushed into a square surface. I did alter the nearest two towers to the right of the WTC to fit the arc, which begins with the WTC, grazes the falling debris on the right near the island, cradles the two large clouds at the bottom and left, and terminates with the falling debris on the left. I wanted to have as few dead areas as possible without conversely overcrowding the image with unnecessary info.

I used no tape to mask edges. The island is 100% painted by hand with a #2 bright Winsor Newton Galleria brush. Of course I switched to something larger for the sky, because I'm not that much of an OCD psycho ;)

© Ashley Anderson

goran86, FloodingFactory, ncomment, and 116 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. nluckett 56 months ago | reply

    Wow. Gorgeous.

  2. crysse* 56 months ago | reply

    Totally Geek… great ;)

  3. Brian LeRoux 56 months ago | reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Uhm. Can I buy this anywhere?

  4. MissMariss 56 months ago | reply

    This is fabulous. Please keep this technique up with your work. The paint and texture combined with the clean pixels is gorgeous. I don't like when you can see the penciled lines between the pixels. Having work that has good craftmanship is very important. Keep doing this with your pixel paintings. I am loving it!!

  5. giulia massera 56 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Shicon Designers, Photographers & Creative Minds, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  6. Ashley A 56 months ago | reply

    Okay folks! Mad amounts of positive feedback on this one, not excluding quite a few offers to buy this painting! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    I am presently in the process of finding a means of producing good quality prints of this painting so it may be more widely and affordably available than the singular, original piece (which isn't exactly cheap...$450 plus shipping).

    If anyone would be willing to offer some feedback regarding ideal sizes of prints, I would greatly appreciate it!

  7. toypopcollectors 55 months ago | reply

    Ashley!!! lovely stuff you r doing!!!!
    All your work is always sorprising me!!!

  8. Ashley A 55 months ago | reply

    Alright folks, I replaced the original photo because of some really annoying glare on the right side portion of the island. Let me know if this photo is satisfactory, as I'm thinking this will be the photo I produce prints from.

    I'm gonna let it sit here for a few days and sleep on it some before I decide whether to rephotograph it or proceed with printing.

    Thanks again for all your compliments!!!!

  9. Jack VS Japan 49 months ago | reply

    Any news about the prints?

  10. Ashley A 48 months ago | reply

    I'm picking up a proof from the printer tomorrow afternoon, so I should be having prints available next week!

  11. Ashley A 45 months ago | reply

    Hey y'all, I just made some gel transfers of this image. You can see it on my blog!

  12. argyle plaids 39 months ago | reply

    wowee... super awesome!

  13. gridcold 38 months ago | reply

    I Love this game!

  14. snebtor 35 months ago | reply

    TMNT the Manhattan project

  15. kyspentay1 7 months ago | reply

    This reminds me of an episode of the original Spider-Man cartoon series called "Swing City".

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