Sunday, December 15, 2013

wholesale confectionery

This is one of my oldest paintings that I still have and that I still like a lot. From back in January of 2004 when I lived in Washington Heights, worked in Brooklyn and drove around upstate. This painting combines elements of all three. Shuffling my boots along the sidewalk through drifts of billowing snow on the night of a snowstorm, as I carried a 5-pound bag of sugar from the corner bodega back to my apartment. Arriving home I ripped open the bag too suddenly and it spilled another vast grainy drift of white over my table onto the floor. Earlier that month, I'd seen a vacant storefront on a street in Carroll Gardens, the faded gold letters spelling out 'Wholesale Confectionery'.  There was only an oversized pack of Wrigley's gum in the window, advertising nothing. I held the image of the sign and the buildings in my mind until I started the painting. Then I had a photo I'd taken in South Salem of a particular yellow truck. I thought about receiving a wholesale delivery of sugar, of trudging through snow heaped in doorways. I was so cold that winter, pushing my own weight around the city, finding refuge in thick sweaters and in places that made the best hot chocolate, knowing there must be a small bit of color, somewhere, and a shovel to dig through to it.

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