Chinatown at Night, New York
뉴욕, 차이나타운의 밤
Oil on canvas
A masterpiece vividly portraying New York at night in the 1920s.
1920년대 뉴욕의 밤을 생동감 있게 그린 걸작
This is a view of Chinatown at night during the Prohibition, where all kinds of human dramas unfolded.
At the center of the picture, a bus has just arrived. Musicians are playing to welcome the passengers. A man and woman are looking at the menu in front of the shop. A dispute of some sort has arisen on the right. Whether it is a robber or someone that left the restaurant without paying, you can see people chasing a car as it drives away. The closer you look at the dark picture, the more you notice the painting is full of amusing episodes.
At the lower left, despite being under Prohibition, a drunkard is lying spread-eagled on the road and a policeman is approaching him. Such narrative is so characteristic of Shimizu and you cannot help laughing.
The influence of American Scene artists such as John Sloane can be idientified in the way Shimizu observes and portrays the commoners’ daily life full of humor and pathos. Throughout his lifetime, Shimizu based his work on “the ordinary citizen’s viewpoint.”