December 30, 2011
Happy New Year! in Masereel's "The City"
When I walked into the studio to find inspiration in my art books for a New Year's post, I noticed my copy of Frans Masereel's The City, a dramatic wordless novel in 100 woodcut images, published in 1925. What a glorious image of fireworks to start the new year!
Masereel's portrait of the city is one we would recognize today, with the intense bustle of rush hour...
to the long lines of workers laboring at their desks...
the hard physical labor to build the city's structures...
and the manual labor to make its factory goods.
The city that Masereel so vividly depicted was one of work and play, drudgery and debauchery, love and violence. And, like today, the rich strongly contrasted with the poor.
There was intimacy; there were large crowds celebrating or protesting; there was lonely despair.
I wish all of you a year full of peace and prosperity and the beauty of the world around us, from the grandeur of starry skies to the tiny things that touch us. And I also hope, as Masereel did, that the world becomes a better place.