|Coney Island, Battle of the Lights, 1913, Joseph Stella|
The city might be New York, but the movement, as well as its most prominent practitioner, were both imported. Joseph Stella was one of the original signers of the Futurist Manifesto, which, like Stella, was born in Italy where he happened to be a student at the time; and where he was greatly influenced by Gino Severini, Carlo Carra, and Umberto Boccioni, the real founders and leaders of Futurism in Europe. However, even though he was born in Italy, Stella had been an American since the age of 19 and thus was able to endow the American brand of Futurism with a delightful, bustling vigor not seen in the work of his European counterparts. His painting, Battle of Lights, Coney Island, done in 1913, is a fantastic example of this. Though stylistically quite abstract, one can nevertheless make out a melange of roller coasters, sea gulls, Ferris wheels, and neon signs rising from a dark well-littered base to a towering pinnacle replete with searchlights and skyrockets. You can almost smell the popcorn and cotton candy!
|Brooklyn Bridge: Variaton on an |
Old Theme, 1939, Joseph Stella