A secret artist in our midst

I live in a little Connecticut town called Rowayton.  We were briefly the Oyster capital of the world.  We also played midwife to the first business computer.

But nothing much has happened in the last 50 years.  

Until now.  

We have a talent in our midst. And that talent is turning our train station into an art gallery.  

Here’s what I found a couple of days ago while waiting for my train to NYC.

Here’s a closer view.

It’s corny to say so, but it made me think of this Da Vinci self portrait.

I don’t know if these photos tell the story, but this image has been placed on the platform by a process of dripping / pouring that deprives the artist of absolute control.  Its a technique that forces a loose hand working in a single session.  Virtuosity gives vivacity. The face that comes up out of concrete (of all things).  A knowing, unforgiving, bird-of-prey gaze.  

And it commandeers a handy thought bubble: “mind the gap.”  What, you mean the artistic life of little Rowayton?  Consider it minded!  Occupied and then some.  

Several months ago, when the dreadful Donald Trump was everywhere on screen and in print.  This image appeared on an ad in the station.  

The artist removed Trump’s photographed face and inserted a Dorian Gray revelation of the man within.  Porcine Donald.  And what a pig he is.  

Someone with artistic detective skills might be able to determine whether Mind the Gap comes from the same hand as Dorian Donald.  And, as you can guess, I am really hoping it does.  And not just because it would be wonderful to think that someone has turned our train station into an art gallery.  

It’s all very Culturematic so naturally I’m thrilled.  But, look, I’d be thrilled in any case.  I spend some part of the spring talking to Peter Spear and Rainer Judd about a project that would encourage the eruption of art in small town America and here someone drops this under my very nose.   

It is a Culturematic because it converts a train station into an art gallery.  Culturematics are almost always opportunistic and cunning in this way.  But it also turns our train system, Metro North, into a delivery system for art lovers everywhere.  As long as someone can find the line, they can count on effortless and precise delivery!  

Let me know you’re coming and I will put on my docent costume and meet you there. Gallery station memberships are reasonable so don’t forget your credit card!

4 thoughts on “A secret artist in our midst

  1. Joan Peterdi


    Train stations have often been community art centers, spontaneous, planned for, mysterious or otherwise,
    I would be happy to provide details (pedantry-wise) … SO MUCH connects to this!

    When did artists first ‘sign’ their work [as public relations, as ego] ? Answer: not so long ago in the timelie since art
    What does ‘copyright’ mean for artists?
    What is ‘graphiti’ — really?
    Would love to follow this exploration but don’t understand your mysterious invite as i can find no date or time … 🙂

    1. Grant Post author

      Joan, I was just kidding, but what an excellent idea. We’ll encourage more art and then stage a Rowayton exhibit. Only mysterious artists will contribute. And they will then attend as visitors. So we’ll know they’re there. But not who they are. And then we could give a prize to someone who attends, refusing their protests that they are “not an artist at all” on the grounds that of course the mysterious artist would say exactly that. Thanks, Grant

  2. Craig Swanson

    You mean it’s real? (You can see it too?) I have a condition your artist may or may not share. Given your explanation of the drip technique employed, I would guess his/her affliction is different than mine. But I see faces in textures everywhere (without the paint). Wood, tile, concrete…they all yield an unending stream of portraits. Although unnecessary, all I’d have to do is take a pen or paintbrush and connect the dots. These things are everywhere, souls caught and ossified, wherever I look, since I was a child. I probably need professional help.

    1. Grant McCracken

      Craig, I do this too and when I saw this face I thought I was “just seeing things.” I think I read somewhere that we are hard wired for face recognition/detection. Thanks! Grant

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