Tuesday, April 12, 2011
"The Storm is Coming" by Antonio Frasconi
It's early spring, been pouring rain all day with no sign of let up any time soon, so this image is most appropriate to write about today. This is a particularly captivating woodcut by Antonio Frasconi. The girl runs through the rain, away from the heaviest part of the storm, which hisses at her from the upper, left-hand corner. The swiftness of her movement is emphasized by the foreshortening of her back leg and two raised points in the back of her skirt. It is as if she emerges from another world where some invisible creature is trying to pull her back. Who is this girl (woman?) and where is she from? (I assume girl since she is smiling as she runs, though her face looks older.) Her outfit is clownish with her jagged-edged slip, mis-matched patterns, and clashing red top with pink skirt. She shields herself from the rain with a folded newspaper, and it is interesting it-of-itself, featuring a humongous bird and curious, giant lettering. The background gives no more clues to the environment, but the more I look at it, the more I get lost in the multitude of textures. Wild scratches depict rain, fluctuating intensity of the black ink, subtle woodgrain and waves of crosshatch that resembles burlap pressed against the atmosphere. I hear noises as I look at this image: tap tap, pitter pat, flap, flap. I smell mud. I feel a cool breeze and a chilling moisture in the air. I am almost out of breath, yet I grin. There is a terrible, wonderful something out there, and our flight from it is exhilarating.