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Saturday, October 8, 2016
Art & Entertainment ... Photo ...

Here’s a shot that I took back in the summer of 1969. It was taken with a crummy instamatic camera in a setting with not-so-good lighting, but the subject is perhaps interesting (to urbanologists anyway). It’s a shot of the Myrtle Avenue “L” train somewhere in Brooklyn (near Myrtle Avenue, no doubt; L here means “elevated”; the actual subway route for this line was the “MJ” line). I’m a boy from the Jersey suburbs, but as a kid I would sometimes make an urban venture across the Hudson River, often with my cousin Mike. On this day, Mike and I were exploring the Myrtle Avenue subway line, which the New York MTA was about to abandon. You can see why, it was kind-of old and creaky, and there were other subway lines and bus routes in that neighborhood.

Since my teen years, I have learned a little bit about fine art, and I came to appreciate the works of the “Ash Can School“, especially painter John Sloan. The Ash Can School was active and prominent in the decades leading up to World War 2, and focused on every-day urban scenes using something of an impressionist style. I thought it might be interesting to take my Myrtle Avenue L shot and run it through the Photoshop “artistic” conversions, to see what a Sloan or a Glackens might have made of the Myrtle Avenue L. Here’s what I came up with, for better or for worse:

◊   posted by Jim G @ 11:52 am      
 
 


  1. Jim, I know nothing whatsoever about the “Ash Can School” of fine art nor John Sloan; so I do not feel capable of writing anything except the most obvious about this post.
    To be honest, the name of the “school” itself is a “put off” for me; seems “ash can” and “fine art” are opposites; but what do I know?
    I can see that running your photo thru the Photoshop “artistic” conversions brings out the details that are not seen in the first picture. It also seems that there’s a difference in the play of the light in each picture. The “Ash Can” one seems to make the darks darker and the lights lighter in the picture.
    I might also say that the first picture has a smoother “feel” (right word?) to the light than the second pic.
    Other than that, I do not really have any worthwhile comments to make in comparing the 2 pix. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — October 8, 2016 @ 5:53 pm

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