Canal Street Station, Classical Pictures Of New York September 30 2013
Deborah has published and offered for sale dozens of pictures of New York, but few have the accidental formality of Canal Street Station (NYC). The formal framing of the subway entrance for the uptown 6 train gives it a false realism. Like Edward Hopper's best, the picture is vibrant with surrealistic undertones.
Two young women descend into darkness while a figure that could be a demonic kind of guard looks suspiciously back toward the camera. The industrial green that marks the Lexington Avenue Line rises to street level from the endless columns and support beams underground.
An intense red theme at street level and above connects with the blonde woman's summer dress. Not only is the scene rigidly structured from built objects, it takes additional structure from the accidental color scheme.
On the busy fringe of Chinatown, its blocks busy with wholesale merchants of diamonds and knock off consumer goods, the Canal Street Station anchors the location with greater grid of underground street life that has no coherent counterpart above.
When you go underground in New York, as these women are, you carry little of the vibrancy with you. The streets of New York are seldom what anyone would consider clean and orderly. There's the constant activity to keep it disturbed and littered. But the subways are a different thing, dark, poorly ventilated and impacted with decades upon decades of filth.
Stepping from the heat of the summer streets to the contrary world of the subway grid, these women descend into what might as well be a second, neighboring dimension.