Futureperfect

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Street
Rick Gorenko, Gorenko, street, charcoal, mixed media on paper, one-point perspective, city street, 2D art, two-dimensional, simplified form, building, urban,
description

Richard Gorenko's Street is a simple image making use of straight lines and only black and white shades. This simplicity turns the image into a kind of symbol; because the details of the particular street are left out of the image, it comes to represent all city streets.

This image uses one-point perspective, which means that lines recede to a single point off in the distance. Gorenko has used a vanishing point that is off the picture plane; in other words, the street recedes to a point we cannot see, and could go on forever.

Gorenko's street is black; he has used the thick blackness of his materials to mimic the heavy blackness of asphalt. His buildings are whitish-grey, and are brighter than the street but are still dull. Oddly, Gorenko's view of a street is also without any activity; there are not people, animals, or cars. There is, in fact, not even room for people to walk, as the street pictured here has no sidewalks.

Perhaps this is Gorenko's idea of the modern city, or the city of the future; blank, empty streets of blackness that extend forever.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Gorenko's Street depicts nothing on the buildings except windows; there are no doors, awnings or signs. Why might this be? Is it consistent with the rest of his picture?

  • Why do we not see the tops of any of the buildings in Gorenko's image? What might this tell us about Gorenko's view of the city?

  • Can you think of a city that you have seen or heard about that this picture might closely resemble, or is it purely fictional?
Studio Activity

The ideal street


Richard Gorenko’s Street, in its simplicity, comes to represent all city streets.  Draw or paint a street image that is the opposite of Gorenko's.

  • That is, using his model of a street with buildings, make an image of a street that is your ideal street.

  • If a street could be everything you want it to be, what would it look like?

  • Will it be brightly coloured?

  • Will it be full of people or animals?

  • What kind of buildings would it have?

 

The street

  • Research the history of “the street”, or the paved road, from its earliest origins in the ancient world to its current use and context.

  • How are roads different now from the way they used to be?

  • Or, more specifically, what functions do streets serve now other than as mere transportation paths?

 

 

References

Author unknown.  The Art Bank visits the Prairies.  News Releases, Canada Council, September 4-28, 2001.  Retrieved from the Internet on July 28, 2008 from:  http://www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/2001/qt127240325936875000.htm?colour=red

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning