|(All photos by Alex MacLean from Up on the Roof)|
He recently turned his mind to the rooftops of New York and he produced a celebration of the incidental art that humans create when they are focused on something completely else.
|Rooftops, the Bronx|
His desire was to observe it and record it and his plan of attack was simple: Rent a helicopter with pilot; fly out of New Jersey on runs over the city, mostly Manhattan with some of Brooklyn thrown in for good measure; see what you see. And photograph it. Although he describes getting access to the airspace over New York as not the difficult hurdle you might assume, the busyness of air traffic flying in and out of the region's four airports makes flying there safely the challenge.
New Yorkers are famously inventive. Put that many people in such a small space, and you're likely to see some creative solutions to some unique problems. Well, fire extinguisher art is hardly a problem, but it is both creative and unique. Here's how it works: find a rooftop, preferably large and flat -- there are many in the city. Get a hand-held fire extinguisher. Empty out the fire suppressant contents and fill with "better" material. "Better" means "better to paint with". Use the extinguisher to paint an image of your choosing on rooftop. Target audience: viewers of Google Earth. Really.
|Fire extinguisher art next to the High Line|
MacLean will be talking at Porter Square Books in Cambridge on Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m. If you like cities, go. It's worth it.