June 2nd, 2018

Manhattan Courthouse

Artist: Kris Mordecai, United States
Artist Statement: After a cold, lingering winter in New York, the weather finally turned warm enough to enjoy sketching outdoors again, and I was blessed with a long lunch break during jury duty. I sat in Foley Square in downtown Manhattan and created this sketch of the New York County Courthouse in ink and watercolor on a bright and sunny afternoon.

The courthouse’s colonnade is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome, and its wide, imposing staircase and sculpture work give it the appearance of being a temple of justice. I enjoyed offsetting all the authoritarian imagery by including the first greens of early spring and the brightly colored hot dog vendor’s cart and halal food truck on the sidewalk. Against a rather solemn backdrop, they bring in an element of the organic, chaotic “real” New York that I love—the fast-paced, noisy, ever-changing city full of people and plants and animals all trying to make their way on small, densely populated, heavily built-up island.

MEDIA: Ink and watercolor
SURFACE: Beta Series – Extra Heavyweight – 270 gsm – White – Cold Press Finish

Kris Mordecai is an urban sketcher, illustrator, and nonprofit manager based in New York City. He views on-location sketching as a mindfulness practice and as a way of connecting to the present moment, oneself, and one’s surroundings. His sketchbooks create a visual record of his everyday life and travels. You can find him on Instagram at @krismordecai



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