After Hours

A4, digital, 2011

A city scene shows aspects of the Futurist movement in painting.  The focus on movement and variations in light that lies at the heart of Futurism gives a feeling that the forms penetrate one another, and buildings fuse with their surroundings.  We have a sense that the night-time city is vibrant with activity as neon lights, reflected in the puddles of fallen rain, demonstrate that people are bustling through their urban environment.  The road, damp and uninviting, vanishes into an uncertain distance.

Yet no-one is visible in this image – the existence of the city’s inhabitants is merely inferred.  There may be the lights of vehicles in the distance, towards which the lines of perspective lead our eye, but otherwise this is a place of buildings and machines.  The figurative nature of the darkened structures, and the muted background colours across the whole view, may be indicative of how urban technology might suppress the human spirit, if it is allowed to do so.

Indeed, this image may be representative of city life itself, and the need to take ourselves beyond the potential adversity of our everyday existence.

Text: Richard Hayes