The Rehoboth Art League is running a monthly series of pairings where members are invited to submit recent work to be displayed in the gallery with works from the collection. When I first heard about it, I glanced through the works and found nothing inspiring. About a week ago, I got an e-mail reminder saying that they were still taking applications for December, so I took another gander. This time two of the works stood out.

So, then I went through my framed work from the past 2 years and opened .jpgs on my computer along with the two images from the collection–about 12 total images on screen. I left it open for a couple hours while I worked on some crochet projects and paperwork. One by one I dropped out images and enlarged the remaining ones until I had my final selection.

Here is my proposal:

Corner Market and David © Ethel P. B. Leach – Oil on masonite

Parking for Candy Only © 2012 NATE METZ
Parking for Candy Only 1 © 2012 NATE METZ – digital photograph

These two works come together as depictions of street life, titled appropriately to indicate the urban setting. However, it is their perspectives of the city that differ the greatest. Leach’s perspective is scenic of a corner at an intersection. Metz on the other hand is a macro work of still life. Although both highlight a study in forms where multiple rounded organic shapes in the foreground contrast against strikingly sharp, linear angles and planes in the backgrounds.

The tones differ as well. The feel of Leach’s painting is decidedly warm and friendly with subdued earthy tones and a brown-colored street. Metz’s photograph depicts a much starker street in the black and grey tonal blacktop aggregate. Metz’s street also has a much higher contrast in color with the bright candy floating across the surface to further differentiate the tonal variance.

The differences in feeling originate with the medium: Metz’s more modern work is a digital photograph and Leach captures a nostalgic moment in the traditional oil painting. The cooler emotional response to Parking for Candy Only could also be to the lack of human and canine pedestrians that are present on Corner Market and David.

Coming back to the perspectives of each, we can explore the points of view. In Leach, the reflections on the windows and the streets allow the viewer to examine different parts of the work. Also, the direction of each person’s face and canine gait allows us to ponder the various perspectives of the piece. Metz’s digital photographs, though, require three different frames to explore the various angles of the subjects. Each photograph allows the viewer to ponder a different perspective.