R.A.H. (againstathorn) wrote,

Stanley Meltzoff - Skeleton In The Sky, 1961

What I find most captivating about Stanley Meltzoff's Skeleton in the Sky is the artist's vantage point, which offers an even-level view of a high-rise construction scene.  Consider the impact if he'd instead selected a more dramatic perspective, perhaps looking up from above or from an angle off to the side.  As is, I love how those rigid steel beams are structured symmetrically in his composition, creating little chambers within which we may observe our human specimens, some operating heavy equipment while others socialize amongst each other.  I'd assess that there's no story to be told here but rather a simple illustration of a busy day on the job.

Going further, I’d even argue that Meltzoff’s choice of vantage point is so detached that it keeps the viewer from identifying with any one individual worker, encouraging us to register them as we would mere drones in a beehive, or perhaps an empowered management figure over his hourly employees.  It's easy to convey this scene as cold and even unsympathetic.  However, Meltzoff lighting offers a necessary reprieve, letting down from a stream of sunlight which illuminates some workers, calling them to our attention, while casting others in shadow, silhouetting them against the clouds and blue sky.  I love it when as painting speaks with the light and simply uses perspective to set their scene.

Also, looks at the beautiful contrast of blue and orange. The palette reminds of that which is now commonly used of action films. See: Transformers.

Meltzoff is one of the many artists whose work I’ve discovered through Pinterest, which I signed up on shortly after completing last year's Art for the Mouth of June.  If you’re interested, he also has produced many beautiful marine scenes and sci-fi inspired pieces. Check them out if you haven't already.
Tags: art for the month of june
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