Having grown up in California, the car culture capital of the world, and having done a lot of driving in my time (including two cross-country trips), I’ve grown accustomed to the sight of freeways and overpasses. I never found them ‘ugly’ as so many people claim. And I was happy to find that I am not alone in my opinion.
Freeways and Overpasses: An Artists’ Muse
Despite the fact that many people find these a blight of urban sprawl, several artists consider them a subject worth painting. I have come across many beautiful paintings of these concrete and asphalt ‘monstrosities’ over the years and wanted to share just a few of them with you.
I can’t think of a better place to start than Wayne Thiebaud‘s Freeway paintings done in the late 1970s.
Clearly Derek Bruckner was inspired by Thiebaud:
above: Derek Bruckner’s “Freeway 2”
…and quite possibly so was Bruce Bomberger and Chris Chappell:
above: Bruce Bomberger’s “Freeways”
above: Chris Chappell’s “Highway Overpass”
Lest you think only the organic intertwining of curving roads held appeal as a subject, take a look at the numerous painting of overpasses, from above and below.
above: “Underpass” by Daniel Dolberg
above: “Passing Through Again” by John Margaris
above: “Departure” by John Margaris
above: Jamee Linton’s “Shift of Desire” followed by his “Displacement”
above: “Overpass” by Peter Harris and his “Urban Icon”
above: Derek Bruckner’s “Overpass”
above: “210” by William Wray
above: Reuben Colley’s “Freeway”
above: Damon Denys’ “Overpass I-80”
above: “Under The Overpass” by Ned Stern
above: “Under The Over” by SF painter Carolyn Meyer
above: “Driving Into SF” by SF painter Carolyn Meyer
above: Michelle Muldrow’s “Habitat SF” and her “South Van Ness”
>above: “Transport” by Andrew Denman
above: “Overpass 25” by Christy Patrick
above: “The Overpass”, watercolor by Richard Van Wagoner
above: Ben McLaughlin’s “Overpass”
above: Gerald Schwartz’ “Overpass”
above: “Under the 110 Freeway” by Jennifer McChristian
above: Overpass” by Ann West
above: Jylian Gustlin’s Overpass
above: Jylian Gustlin’s “90 M.P.H. 20”
Kirah Van Sickle’s “Overpass” in acrylics
above: Fielden Harper’s “OffRamp”
above: Fielden Harper’s “Freeway” series
I considered including photography and drawings of overpasses and freeways, but there were simply too many.