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Tag Archives: urban decay

As a native Detroiter and a not-terribly-secret admirer of decaying urban landscapes, I read this interview with artist Stephen Magsig on the Painting Perceptions blog with a great deal of interest. It appealed to me on two levels, the first being an aesthetic one.  Magsig’s paintings capture the stark realism of the once-thriving cities we’ve left to rot in our enthusiasm for moving our homes to suburbia and our jobs overseas. A Michigander himself, Magsig’s work reflects the influence of a number of American Realist painters I admire; Hopper, Sheeler, and Demuth, among others. He produces images that I find visually appealing. He’s a good painter, plain and simple.

Detroit Stories Fort St II (Steven Magsig 2011)

The second reason I like Stephen Magsig is this:

It is an incredible time to be an artist in Detroit. There is such a strong supportive art scene.

There are artists moving into Detroit from all over the World and there are opportunities that did not exist before”

That’s a quote from the aforementioned interview, and I find it very encouraging. If Detroit can fabricate a vibrant arts community from the wreckage of globalization, why not Saginaw? Why not Flint, or any of the many other casualties of Wall Street and the New World Order?

Gate 2 (©2011 by Richard X. Moore)

It merits serious consideration. Do we try to move forward with what we have, or do we just sit around and bitch about our misfortune? I’m for moving forward. I’ll find out soon enough if anyone else feels like I do.