compare "The tube train" and "subway"

Topics: Rapid transit, New York City Subway, Color Pages: 4 (1490 words) Published: February 9, 2014
In the world of art, various artists will converge upon a theme. Sometimes, this is either conscious or unconscious. Still, most paintings tend to be similar enough to others in theme or composition that they lend themselves well to being compared and contrasted. I will compare and contrast George Tooker's The Subway, and Cyril E. Power's The Tube Train. George Tooker's The Subway is a haunting yet beautiful piece. Painted using the egg tempera method, it is stunning for its strategic usage of warm colors. The intention of Tooker's painting is to portray such a familiar scene as a subway as ominous and anxiety inducing. For example, the stares of the men at the central female figure as well as the loneliness of the woman who is surrounded by those men, combined with the streamlined and utilitarian nature of the subway itself. All of this is used to take the mundane and make it somewhat more frightening. Tooker uses warm colors for the coats and attire of the people in the painting, which almost seem to lend a sense of danger or caution to the air of the situation. The Whitney Museum of Art's profile of the work says that the "location emphasizes feelings of alienation, as any New York subway passenger knows. Subways are labyrinthine and almost prison-like, with low ceilings and barred areas. Tooker accentuates this effect by removing all signs from the subway station of his imagination, so that a person who is lost might never find his or her way out. Subways teem with people who do not know each other, but have close contact with one another by necessity. The subway is a modern invention, so it is likely that Tooker is making a statement about contemporary lifestyle: everyone is the same and we put ourselves in a prison of our own making" ("The Dark Side of Modern Life"). In essence, the painting is a dark and grim take on a mundane and artificial facet of modern urban life. Similar to Tooker's painting, Cyril E. Power's The Tube Train is set in a subway car....
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