john hemmen art
 

Statement for City Paintings



Flying into Babel

Night City

Fat City

The city is the cultural center of human civilization.  It is where people congregate to do commerce, including the commerce in ideas and Art.  It is the place where ambition often leads someone who wants to make a name for himself, get rich or famous, or meet other ambitious people.  It is also the place where people seek work, a better life, more money, a more challenging job.  It is where people search for and meet their mates, get married, make a life, grow old and die, and leave a legacy.  It usually represents the future more than the past.

The city is more than a place of inert structures and forms.  It is alive with all the conflicting forces of humanity, including good and evil, love and hate, altruism and greed.  The city shapes people, pushes and pulls them, squeezes juice out of them and injects them with new juice.  The city is like a wild animal hunting you even as you hunt it.  It is ever alluring, beckoning you to come to it, participate in it, be caressed by it, and eventually swallowed by it.  It is the place where you must go to fulfill your dreams.  You must immerse yourself in it.

So I have tried to paint the city and show some of these influences.  Some of my works show just the city, others a figure in the city.  Sometimes the figures are the buildings.
The human figures are flying, diving, jumping, standing, sitting, and are either within or about to enter the city, and are always engaged by the city.  A relationship is either there or forming.  A story is being told.