Thursday, March 15

Vividly Subtle

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Religious angst caused the world to go wildly tilted in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds sliding many Germans into Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Farmers with a deeply felt work ethic - they prospered here upon the world's richest naturally irrigated soil. And since the dictates of their fiercely strict religious tenants forbad ostentation or extravagant creature comforts, they plowed their success back into increasingly productive tools, stock, and structures.

To them, beauty had a function and their style was aggressive, unromantic, literal, without sentimentality and yet they loved color and decorative detail. If their Lord was praised by their success, their appetite for beauty was expressed in Germanic love of pure functional form. See... see it here in the explosive joy they took in releasing this barn to resonate in a brilliant yellow voice. No soft lighting, no contrived atmosphere - but undeniably a work of craft which punches into the realm of pure expression. It repays the viewer with an idea of worth, triumph, and a beautifully cropped ode to the redemptiveness of functional art.

Incidentally, this is a small scene from my visit this week to the Landis Valley Museum, supported by the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission just up the street from my magazine's offices here in Lancaster County.

2 comments:

Bill said...

I'm enjoying all the images in this series from the museum but this one really resonates with me. Visually, it's stunning, the pronounced perspective, the rich yellow hue of the barn and the way it stands out against the muted colours in the background, the craftmanship of the builders still evident after all this time. On an emetional level, I love the way I am pulled into the barn, almost as an afterthought, by the open door. Once inside my imagination takes over, I don't want to leave until I've filled in all the details. Keep 'em coming Ted.

mcmurma said...

Powerful. I love the wide-angle dynamic with the equally strong color and lines. It's got a real "slap-in-the-face" quality that you just can't run from.

I noted that you posted it again after a "do-over", and regardless of how needed the changes may have been for print, I prefer this version in a side by side comparison. The color, to me, is richer in this piece, and the perspective is just ever-so more realistic. Also, I prefer the darker sky. Now, maybe it's just me, but this one, at least for web viewing, is tops.

Thanks for posting,

-Michael