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10048 | by Ashley A
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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I was also tempted to make a reference to a really weird art/historical reference I hadn't intended (kind of like the guys who made the graphics for this game, eh?).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

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Taken on August 13, 2010