Doug Young (IL)
left: Mission Control 48" x 96" wool rug, 2005
right: Nuclear Launch Center, 2008
wood, plastic, paint
Mine is a story similar to the thousands, and thousands, and thousands who came before me. And there will be thousands, and thousands, and thousands after me. Growing up in Chicago I knew what I wanted to do with my life from an early age, and as I grew older the semblance of New York was all to clear. Where else would you go? I worked my way through high school and college as a janitor, moving to Brooklyn straight out of college in 1995.
New York is unique in the fact that it is one of the few places which offers such excess in emotion, fortune, and misery. One of the first things I noticed after moving here was how people would refer to New York not in the same context of other American cities, but as an entity, a being, a welcomed/unwelcome participant in their lives. As if the city was capable of making decisions, granting wishes, or destroying hard won creations.
Living here I have had my share of humiliating jobs, uncaring girlfriends, and frantic plans to pay the rent. On the opposite side I have found acceptance, love, and a belief in oneself. The movies chose to capture the city in one of two ways. First the apocalyptical, chaos roaming through the streets of Escape From New York, The Warriors, and Fort Apache the Bronx. On a literal sunnier side we are given the beautiful spring day when life is a new and we cherish the moment when Harry Met Sally.
No other city is portrayed in such black and white gestures. New York is a romantic landscape. How you want to capture that landscape is up to you, and you alone.