I am honored to have been selected to participate in Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s exhibition “Downtown Legends” at the Brooklyn Historical Society this December. The exhibit will feature prominent local artists interpreting architectural and cultural landmarks in the Downtown Brooklyn area.
The landmark that I chose to create a work of art about is the Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, located at Fulton Mall. It was built in 1908 by the famous architectural firm Mowbray and Uffinger, in the ne0-classical style.
While the building is closed as a bank and slated to be part of a planned residential skyscraper development, it is landmarked and will remain as the centerpiece of the new construction.
I was given access to the interior and also able to shoot photographs from the roof of a building across the street. Although the whole place is a gem of gilded age beauty, ultimately I decided to paint the grand interior, with its giant rotunda of red marble columns crowned with mercury dimes on top. The idea of Dime Savings Bank is that anyone could open an account with just a dime, and the dime iconography is everywhere in the architectural details. The rotunda takes your breath away when you enter the building, as it must have been intended by the architects. Here are some pictures I took for reference.
The work I am creating is an oil on canvas painting, 45″ x 64″ wide. There are a lot of layers and the surface is starting to get the patina and luminosity that I strive for in my work. Although I normally don’t show in progress photos, here is a look behind some of the process. The painting is likely to change quite a lot, which you’ll see when the I post the final version.
The exhibit opens December 9th, at The Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn NY. All the artwork will be for sale, so if you’re in the market for some beautiful art commemorating local landmarks, this is a great opportunity.