Other artists work differently. On September 11, Toni Franovic was visiting in New Jersey. As he made his way towards Manhattan to keep an appointment with a gallery that was interested in showing his work, he watched as smoke began to rise from across the river. As he began to understand what had happened, he turned back, and the next day, he came to Washington, where he could work in the basement studio of friends. One of the paintings he made in the next few, frantic days depicts the New York skyline as it is seen from the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge just after the horrific events of 9/11. A lurid, flame-filled sky is reflected in the water below, revealing an ugly, green monster lurking just beneath the surface.
|Toni Franovic, Untitled, oil on canvas on board, 2001,|
on of 7 works shown in Kaddish for New York
at the Dadian Gallery in the fall of 2001
Today, however, I almost cannot bear to look at Toni’s silent witness to our collective howl of anguish. Today, the wound is wide open once again. Today, the violent monster winks and leers, rejoicing at the death of innocent children, at once-exultant runners who now have no legs. Today, the pain and suffering and fear spreads insidiously among us, daring us to go out in crowds and cheer on some other glorious, sun-filled day, lest the monster strike again. Today, I wish that I could paint away my sorrow, but right now I can only weep.