Framed Exxon poster, Classic New York series, 16" x 20", by Annette & Jon Fortt
From Annette Fortt:
"New York is a fascinating place, and I lived and worked in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. But I was drawn to the life and architecture of Brooklyn, especially Bedford-Stuyvesant, where I lived for six years.
"When I attended graduate school at Pratt in Clinton Hill, I took a daily drive to an historic old church that housed a nursery school where I left my toddler son. Then I crossed the street to the school where I would spend my days.
"I kept my camera beside me in the car. Sometimes I would snap pictures while I waited for a light or for the traffic to move. Sometimes, if the scene merited it, I’d park the car and step out to capture my image.
"Exxon was conceived from a scene at a gas station on Atlantic Avenue. You can tell from the size of the building in the background that it was a factory or warehouse that now houses expensive lofts."
The text in the background (by Jon Fortt) reads:
Bedford-Stuyvesant in the early 1980s was a different thing. Don’t get me wrong, the brownstones were there. The street names were pretty much the same. But you’d catch no hint of gentrification. We hadn’t even learned that word yet. I guess you could say the streets were mean, but neighbors looked after each other’s safety. There were block associations and block parties, and restoration was the word on the lips of every Bed-Stuy homeowner. In the early ‘80s, Brooklyn was not just another New York borough, but a way of life.
My father pastored Nazarene Congregational Church over at 506 MacDonough Street, which is a 9-minute walk from where we lived at 130 Bainbridge Street, and I can tell you that now because I just looked it up on Google Maps. Fulton Park was right behind our house, and we would pass pretty close to Jackie Robinson Playground on the walk to church.
Back then you didn’t use credit cards to pay for gas. I don’t remember how old I was the first time I saw a credit card. The cars were long and heavy, there were lots of canvas tops, and the front seats of a lot of them were like couches. Somehow the seatbelt thing hadn’t caught on, and child safety seats hadn’t been invented, so we somehow had toddlers riding around in front seats and nobody thought anything about it. Brooklyn was raw then. It was becoming. Looking back, it had so much.
This poster was designed to highlight the period when it was created, and can be collected along with others in the Classic New York series.
The underlying work, Exxon, is also available as a framed print.
Final framed size: 17.50" X 21.50"
Frame is 1 1/8" wide x 3/4" deep.