Artist Statement from 1996 3rd Street Gallery Exhibition: Industrial Landscapes

In many ways, these paintings were first conceived years ago, when as a child, my family took trips over the bridges of Philadelphia into New Jersey. From this high vantage point, I saw huge cranes and buildings which visually captivated me. For each brief ride over a bridge, I would press up to the window, staring in wonder at these dark, rusted structures, wondering what they were and what they were used for.

The cranes painted here are located at Piers 122 and 124, just south of the Walt Whitman Bridge. They were built in the early fifties. The piers and surrounding area are owned by Conrail and operated and maintained by The Pennsylvania Tidewater Dock Company.

The cranes in paintings "Signals," "Signals II," and "Sisters," are mainly used today to unload iron ore from ships. They are about 160 feet tall, and span 220 feet with both arms down.

Each bucket (shovel) weighs twenty tons, and are about sixteen feet tall. The buckets go out and back on the arms, while the whole rig moves up and down the pier on its tracks. Each load lifted by a bucket weighs about twenty tons, and they move sixty thousand tons in thirty working hours.

Today I see these older structures as life-like, and monumental in size and presence. Looking at them I am often reminded of sailors signaling on a ship, or a crane (bird) airing it's wings.