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visitors since May 12, 2002
August 15, 2002
Three obscure views of Fitzroy

Currently reading and admiring One Hundred Famous Views of Edo by the Japanese woodblock artist Hiroshige. The images were first published in 1858, but they all look as if they could've come out this year. Or even next year. These woodblocks are a century and a half old, and they look brand new. I'm overwhelmingly impressed with Mr. Hiroshige.

His gift was to focus on one place, one city, and to depict it in a multitude of ways. The variety on display is fascinating. His city is the one that became Tokyo, and he shows us what it looks like in all seasons, up close, far away, and all points in between. One of the prints shows, in the foreground, a barred window. On the windowsill sits a cat, which looks through the bars out over a paddy field. Mt. Fuji stands in the distance, almost as an afterthought. A flock of birds rises in the sky.

This one woodblock has detail enough to keep the eye happy for a long time. It's a wonderful image, and it's one of many.

I wish I could express myself visually. Then I could put together a book of my own woodblock art. I could call it Three Obscure Views of Fitzroy, and never find a publisher for it. Or I could find myself an artist, or kidnap myself an artist, and strongly imply that we work together. Nothing major, just a short series of three images, starting with:

Obscure View of Fitzroy, #1:

A cat sits on the windowsill of a rundown Fitzroy house. It looks through a barred window over the inner city street scene below. University students pass by, carrying textbooks, wearing glasses. A well-dressed woman in her late twenties talks on a mobile phone. Two cars compete for the same parking spot. An outer suburban tourist attacks a performance artist. Mt. Fuji doesn't rise in the distance. On closer inspection, the cat turns out to be a painted statue. On even closer inspection, its pricetag is still visible.
     Posted by Sean Hegarty at 11:53 PM in the Fitzroy category | Comments (0)
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