'They'd Never Kill A Reporter'
In 1947 The New York Sun newspaper ran a 24 day series exposing the corruption and murders on the NYC waterfront.
This series of works tells the true story of journalist Malcolm 'Mike' Johnson, who penned the Pulitzer winning series, telling tales of involvement in the crimes by Union Officials, Politicians, Senators and mobsters.
It would go on to inspire Schulberg & Kazan's 'On The Waterfront' but also to lead to the famous Kefauver organised crime hearings.
A true story set in the 1940s New York docks could only have been painted on these surfaces. Although they look like steel / iron facsimile of the hulls of the boats and ships in the oil heavy waters of the Hudson, they are in fact treated wood. A closely guarded technique involving spraying layers of metal dust, paint, resins and acids – results in these panels; a much more stable and certainly lighter and more practical substitute for rusted metal. The texture invites the viewer to touch the surface. Their natural; next step is to examine their finger tips for red rust dust – there is of course – none.
The paintings need no other comment then the carefully chosen colour palette to indicate oil slicks, rust, grime, oxidisation and erosion of metals. These colours literally leak into the skin tones of the subject’s in each piece.
The use and focus of negative space – especially in Reporter, is a confident development in my own painting style and storytelling.