For The Subway (1950), George Tooker used a claustrophobic, labyrinthine subway station to portray the alienation and the isolation of contemporary urban life. These urban dwellers — all of whom seem to have the same face — seem frozen, trapped by the architecture of the subway station. Tooker rendered this distinctly modern subject in egg tempera, a medium associated almost exclusively with the Renaissance. The technique creates a smooth, matte surface and is ideal for making sharp, clear lines, which together lend the anxious scene an eerie placidity. The artist said that he attempted to paint reality in a way that would impress it “on the mind so hard that it returns as a dream.” I love this painting.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, now in its new home at 99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014, in the Meatpacking District, adjacent to the Highline.
Musician and Actor David Cassidy was born on this day, April 12th in 1950, and we wish him a very Happy Birthday! As an aside, when I was 19 years old I had a boyfriend named Mark, who everyone called “Mark Popstar,” because he so closely resembled David Cassidy. That relationship, now decades in the past, was largely inconsequential, but it’s still a nice memory to know that I was once cute enough to get a boy as cute as David Cassidy.
Carl Palmer, drummer for Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia was born on this day March 20th, in 1950. Carl has a new instructional DVD out called Carl Palmer, Drum Solos which features a note-for-note transcription of the entire “Karn Evil 9” drum solo from the 1974 California Jam concert, so you know I’m looking forward to reviewing that for The Gig in upcoming weeks. Happy Birthday, Carl!
Peter Gabriel was born on this day, February 13, in 1950! How awesome is this photo that I was able to find from the sleeve for the single “Solsbury Hill” (b/w “Moribund The Burgermeister,” one of my favorite Petey songs, ever)! Happy Birthday, Peter!