The series is rooted in decades of memory and interest in the massive masonry of the Manhattan Anchorage. The FDR Drive runs north and south at its feet, allowing a fleeting glance as you dodge taxis. The façade presented is all business. Piers of plain stone over brick do their stoic work with only simple archways to guide the flow of weight to earth from the steel deck high above. It is a worker’s face to the dark East River waterfront. I would drive past between my new home in Brooklyn and my former one, family still living further up the river. As I passed, I would get a glimpse of the decorative, formal features on the side faces, each topped with a small colonnade. The Drive side was earthy and primal. The roadway above, and the tower standing out in the river were an afterthought. They are made of different stuff and for different purposes, a bargain between purpose and prospect. I was drawn to the one of stone. I would dream of the anchorage set apart from the bridge it holds up, a monumental sculptural block set free.
To produce the pictures I visited the bridge with a sketchbook and open mind, finding areas and view framing that interested me. They caught my attention because of the juxtaposition of the delicate and deliberate architectural ornament, created to add a layer of beauty, to the strength of the engineering. But also I was intrigued by contradictions, like the seemingly paper-thin support walls that take the weight after the cables have run to ground in the anchorages, and before the force of the roadways dives into the city surface fabric. The bridge is a by-way. It is built to transit, but provides areas worthy of stopping to appreciate views beyond or included along its length. The span channels extraordinary forces, guided and focused, stretched taut between the boroughs. I sketched the restraint of moment, the pause from the kinetic grandness of a structure dedicated to the journey.