There's Something Strange About These Photos Of Small Town America
Amazing work by Rod Penner.
The images you're about to see are of real places. They are not photographs, however. They are paintings created by Texas-based artist Rod Penner.
Penner's work caught my eye because of the familiar, small-town American iconography he captures with his hyperrealistic acrylics. What's most interesting about his work is that unlike other photorealistic painters, his canvases only imply the presence of people.
"Yellow Carwash"Rod Penner/Facebook
Like the American realist Ed Hopper, Penner's canvases evoke a sense of loneliness and isolation. Unlike Hopper, however, his scenes have no visible human in them: only the suggestion of the same. Yet his paintings still grasp human life, perhaps better than any portrait could.
"Ace in Winter"www.rodpenner.com
The effect of looking at a Penner work is like walking through the empty streets of a neighborhood where the lights are still on in the houses. You see the warmth of dining rooms and kitchens behind veils of curtains and you wonder what troubles and dreams stir inside.
"Blue Bonnet Cafe/ Marble Falls, TX"Rod Penner/Facebook
The empty streets and parking lots are warmed with neon lights, often reflected in the puddles and asphalt damp from what must have been recent rain.
"The Cow Lot/ Wichita Falls, TX"Rod Penner/Facebook
There is life in the emptiness.
"Panhandle Service Station/ Texline, TX"Rod Penner/Facebook
Detail - "Panhandle Service Station/ Texline, TX"Rod Penner/Facebook
Time wrinkles and fades the lonely buildings just as they would a human face.