© 2016 Joseph Heathcott

Backstage at the Metropolis

Ongoing work in visual rendering, mapping, posters, and agit-prop

I am fascinated by the mundane landscapes of the city.  Whether marginal or interstitial, these locations tend to provide the crucial 'backstage' functions of urban life--from airports and trainyards to creeks, canals, warehouses, gravel pits, grain silos, power stations, junkyards, recycling centers, tow lots, and trucking terminals.

The first set of works that emerged from this effort came in the form of an exhibit titled "Brooklyn-Queens Borderlands," installed for the Grand Re-opening of the Queens Museum of Art.  The exhibit used photographs and archival maps to trace the enigmatic border.  The museum even let me mark the border on its famous panorama with pink ribbon!   A follow-up article on the project appeared in the Architecture League of New York's magazine Urban Omnibus.

Most recently, I designed the agitprop piece below for a Los Angeles billboard competition.  Titled "Whose River Is It?", the piece responds to the controversial announcement by the municipal government that architect Frank Ghery would be placed in charge of the redevelopment of the LA River.  To create the image, I stitched together six large, high resolution panels that could be enlarged to 20' wide.  While it placed as a runner-up in the competition, a smaller version (2' x 4') was selected for the recent juried art show "Landscapes: A Sense of Place" at Site:Brooklyn gallery.

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