Monday, April 26, 2010

The Ghost of Coney Island Resurrected Yet Again

Coney Island's new Luna Park, modeled after original, will debut 19 thrilling rides on May 29th. It's now a drab construction site dotted with piles of dirt - but by Memorial Day weekend, a gleaming new amusement park will rise in Coney Island where Astroland once stood. It's been modeled after the original Luna Park, the legendary lunar-themed Coney Island mecca that opened in 1903 and closed because of fire in 1944. Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International and Zamperla USA, the companies responsible for building the new Luna Park said he's never heard of an amusement park being built from scratch so quickly, but he's confident it will be ready in time for the May 29 opening. But should it be rebuilt? [more...]

Years ago I saw a documentary on Coney Island which begins by showing the haunted roller coaster as it appeared back in 1995 when my mother and I visited there - amidst a blanket of fog, scrawled with graffiti. It represented, metaphorically, the shadow of evil, and the social decay that Coney Island came to represent. The five mile stretch on the coast of Brooklyn, just nine miles from Manhattan, was the home to three great parks (Steeplechase, Luna Park and Dreamland) which were built in the late 1800's and early 1900's... all of which were destroyed by fire (although Steeplechase was rebuilt soon after)... thus, the name, "The City of Fire." The great, but crooked, builder, McKane, had ruled the island in the late 1800's; but he was not a good man and landed in Sing Sing for election fraud, misuse of public funds and other charges.

Ministers and reverends spoke of the violence, lewd sex, gambling and prostitution that went on there, "victims they make drunken and rob." There were actually three chief men who created the parks and all of them were shady characters who competitively argued amongst each other, always trying to outdo one another. One of them died and another ended up bankrupt. They never really reveal the details of what went on there; but even in 1995, there was an unmistakable dark presence in the remains where the sordid, shoddy amusement shacks still ran full blast, where the hiss and boom of the breakers and crumbling paste board dominated the scene. The Wonder Wheel still stood in Astroland. Historians, nonetheless, say we should always consider Coney Island to be "forever an opportunity, a frontier..." not a place to rebuild what once was. [more...]

Friday, April 16, 2010

Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take, originally uploaded by sandyfrazier.
Inspired by my mother, a teacher of meditation, I painted this the other day.  Actually, I was working on it for about a month... it started out to be chaos out of my abstract mind... and then suddenly one night, the vision of a girl in a meditative pose possessed me and voila! There she is! I love texture in paintings and so this one really expresses a mood in the way I wanted others to tap in to my art.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Art

Le Baptiste, originally uploaded by sandyfrazier.
Inspired by 'The Passion of the Christ,' I have created a series of paintings, like the film, that reaches out across the ages, throughout all time, past race, creed, color, religion... deep into the hearts of what we all actually are: just simple human beings.

"...I wish to paint the artist's struggle against nature, the creative effort in the work of art, effort of blood and tears to give one's flesh, to create life: always wrestling with the truth and always beaten, the battle with the angel. ... tormented by his inability to give birth to his own genius..."

See the series here. Happy Easter!