Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Terror in Brooklyn

This is an oil painting by Louis Guglielmi called Terror in Brooklyn. It was done in 1941and is currently on display in the Whitney Museum of American Art.

So... Terror in Brooklyn. When I think of terror, I expect chaos and destruction. However, when I looked at this painting, I realized what Guglielmi meant. Terror doesn't exist only in madness, it resides in desolation as well. Brooklyn is known for its lively, bustling neighborhoods and inhabited stores. So, I imagine that the fact that the lack of this might scare people who are used to the human occupied Brooklyn neighborhoods. As I look at this painting, I wonder; where are all the people? Why are these two nuns trapped in a glass jar? And most of all, what are those streaks of purple in the sky? I also find it interesting that the sky is completely dark and cloudy. Yet, there is sunlight shining through the cracks in the alleys between the buildings. At first, it would be best to assume that the light is coming from street lights on the other block. However, that seems unlikely because the only pole on the visible street lacks any evidence of lumination. I notice that the nuns are facing the light that I just mentioned. I wonder what they're looking at. It must be connected to the streaks of purple in the sky. Could it be that some sort of religious apocalypse is taking place?

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