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METROPOLIS REDUX
© 2008, revised February, 2015          Darrell Taylor        All rights reserved.

The image above is a digital "collage" of several hundred individual pictures and picture fragments. I spent about four months in 2008 constructing it in Photoshop CS3. The original image file weighs in at over 1.6 gigabytes--25,920 pixels wide, by 7,050 pixels in height. Printed at 300 dpi, the picture is over seven feet wide. I have reduced the size somewhat for web display.

I first starting making these "surreallegories" in imaging software then available in the early '90s, and my first website in 1995 included several that I had constructed a few pixels at a time pre-Photoshop. Today's imaging software and storage capacities make working with much larger images feasible. A large-format Epson roll-paper printer completes my tool set. I do not consider this as photography, but as painting with appropriated images as my medium.

This picture is a salute to New York City by way of Fritz Lang and Google. Though I took a majority of the photos used in the collage, many were purloined from the web, and "quoted" here (that is resized, distorted to fit, recolored, reversed, and in other ways violated) to flesh out an image from my memories and imagination of the Big Apple. The zoom option will yield access to a NY that never was--celebrities, TV personalities, musicians and artists, hidden friends, impossible geographical juxtapositions, a surreal infrastructure to support the surface dramas, fashionistas, and other evocations of the city that never sleeps. The class divisions and exploitative relationships portrayed in Lang's classic "Metropolis" is everywhere in evidence here, too. A full exploration will take a while.

This version is a revision from February, 2015, to include a parallel theme from Batman, whose "Gotham" is similarly linked to New York City in pop cultural mythology. Donald Trump is cast as the Joker, with W.F. Buckley as the Riddler. I made the revisions well before knowing that this was to be the year that Donald Trump emerged as a media star in his presidential run on the national stage. The work is currently on exhibit at the Gallery of the University of New England in Portland, Maine, in a large photography exhibit curated by Steve Halpert: "Tale of Three Cities: Paris, New York, and Portland." Ironies abound.

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Copyright © 2008   -   Darrell Taylor