I don't usually spend much of my limited space in this column on non-local news items. However, with the five-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks just days away, and a phenomenal new large-scale memorial painting being unveiled to little fanfare, and with so much strife and controversy still surrounding the future of the World Trade Center site, I just couldn't let this one pass without comment.
Graydon Parrish is one of, if not the, best artists of our generation, and you probably haven't heard of him. And you probably haven't heard about the 8- by 18-foot oil on canvas painting Parrish recently completed for the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut. The painting, a work of grave beauty and uncommon technical skill four years in the making, is an allegorical work titled The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001. The piece was funded by the family of Scott O'Brien, who died in the World Trade Center collapse five years ago. Parrish was approached to take the commission by the NBMAA in 2001 and began work on it in 2002.
In the museum's press information about the piece, Parrish says this painting "resonates with symbolism: the passage of time, loss of love, and the brevity and frailty of life." At the museum's opening reception for the piece on September 9, the artist will discuss at more length the work and its allegorical nature.