Nicholas Baxter

On The Road 9: Detroit

Detroit is a city where the environment itself takes center stage and needs no actors, a scene and setting so ghostly unnerving that one seemingly enters a land outside of time, a post-apocalyptic playground frozen in charred stillness, awaiting future inhabitants.

It is a beautiful and frightening place, and in the tension between curiosity and revulsion I found untold artistic inspiration. A part of me needs to experience places like this in order to feel alive, to feel the sinewy tautness of real human struggle against all odds, against seemingly crushing decay and despair. The people I met there and the others I learned about during my stay all love their home through the good and the bad, and that was enough to convince me of another form of unlikely beauty that exists in Detroit. Thank you to all of them and to the interesting, dynamic city that inspired these photos.

 

detroitcover-lowres

iPhonecover-web

Karlos

church

skylight

B&Wcover

fence2

churchb&w

chair2

dollhead

chair1

fence1

trainstation

colorcover

rubble

churchwindow

church1

church3

dollhead2

chair

dollhead1

church2

Singularity

Singularity, oil on canvas, 18 x 20 inches, 2014-15

Singularity, oil on canvas, 18 x 20 inches, 2014-15

Here’s the recently completed work mentioned in my last blog post. Mankind’s increasingly intimate yet perilous relationship with technology and machines is the idea I’m working with here, and would like to explore further…

Realized with influence from creative sources such as

  • Ray Kurzweil
  • Michel Foucault (“biopower”)
  • Neill Blomkamp
  • Guy DeBord
  • H.R. Giger
  • Terminator © franchise
  • Metal and Industrial music
  • Postmodern alienation
  • Medical-industrial complex

 

That’s all for now, but more soon!