New Series: Transit and Transience

I’ve hinted at this series a couple of times lately, and even posted a picture of a piece-in-progress last summer. Transit and Transience is a new series of large-scale digital images I began in 2007. Below is a gallery of the nine images I’ve completed, followed by some background information.

Please click on the thumbnail images below for a larger view since the thumbnails are cropped to only show about half of each image.

I started working on the series in April 2007, and stopped in the summer after I had hit a bit of a wall with the series. I took a break from Transit and Transience to create the first 16 Incidentals pieces. Then I started working at the Mendel Art Gallery in early August and had little time for the studio. Things have settled down enough that I am getting into the studio on a regular basis now.

As I mentioned last July, the series began as a proposal for artwork for 32 subway billboards in Berlin. I was so excited by my proposal that I started work on the pieces immediately, knowing that the chances of being accepted were slim. Unfortunately for my ego, the jury chose other work for the project but I’m still excited about this series. My ego recovered quickly from the mild bruising.

These pieces were originally supposed to be 14 feet wide by 7 feet tall. It was only after an artist friend pointed out that each of these pieces was a monumental work of its own that I understood why they were so exhausting to create.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve revisited the pieces I had completed, and made some changes. On some of the pieces the changes are minor, but in others they’re significant. If people are interested I can post some “before” images. You can do a basic comparison of the first image by looking at the earlier version posted here.

One overall change was the addition of hair (or something hairlike) to the heads of most of the figures in all nine pieces. This was due partly to the fact that a common reaction to the pieces was “oooh, aliens!”, a reaction I hadn’t anticipated and didn’t want. The figures are intended to be otherworldly, but not in the sense of pop-culture aliens. So I added hair/wigs/tendrils to the heads. I also made some of the figures more feminine by adding hips and breasts. Before this latter change all of the figures appeared to be androgynous with masculine leanings. All humour aside, the main impetus for these tweaks to the figures was the evolution of my work in my sketchbook drawings, partly influenced by

All of the individual images are untitled for now, but I am planning to give each one a distinct title. This is in contrast to Encounters, where I simply numbered each piece. As for the title of the series, Transit and Transience originally came from the fact that the pieces were going to be on view in a subway. I’ll be exploring the theme further in future pieces.

1 thought on “New Series: Transit and Transience

  1. Dear Ed,
    Was looking at these “Transit an Transience”. These are great! I’m sorry the Berlin thing didn’t happen, but good for you for going for it. These look monumental to me… like stage sets.

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