SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — A new art exhibition featuring large-scale city scenes ranging from facades along Gansevoort Street to the historic Sixth Street Synagogue have found a new home in lower Manhattan.
The South Street Seaport Museum’s new exhibit, "Romancing New York: Watercolors by Frederick Brosen," will feature 11 large paintings depicting notable 19th-century New York architecture.
“I cycle around and I find things that I find compelling,” said Brosen, who said his works are often inspired by what he sees during early-morning rides throughout the city.
“This way, I can see the architecture unobstructed and really feel the ambience of the building and its environment," he added. "And if you do this long enough in New York, you become somewhat of a documentarian.”
Brosen said he was intrigued by the history and unique architectural appeal of the Brooklyn Bridge, noting he visited the structure nearly 20 times before committing his vision to canvas.
“It’s kind of... a pastiche, a combination of on-site sketches and photos,” he said of the 2006 watercolor, which is part of the exhibit.
“I cherry-pick different things from on-site sketches I’ve drawn to photographs I’ve taken and combine it all into one work."
Brosen said the entire process of completing a 5-by-3-foot painting — including drawing the bridge with hard graphite before applying an assortment of watercolors — took about 10 weeks.
But to commit that much time to one piece of work, Brosen said he must be moved by the subject matter.
“I never paint something the first time I see it,” he said. “If I don’t have the visceral feeling for something, I don’t paint it. I try to get the feeling and ambience each time before I set to work.”
Brosen’s paintings will be on display at the museum through January 6.