Matt Adrian: Sierra Madre

Sierra Madre

I came across Matt Adrian’s Sierra Madre at Laluzapalooza lo these many months ago. It’s technically precise and savagely funny. It might be one of my favorites. I’ve got excellent taste! But see how the house is drawn with such clear lines; how the lawn and pristine blue sky are rendered in rich tones that really emphasize lawn-ness and pristine blue sky-ness.

And then there’s the focal point, which is pure tension. It’s between the flying train and the imminent destruction of the very neat neighborhood below. The background (and the foreground scenery) is so placid and crisp, the shadows are angled so correctly. It forces you to just imagine the impact of the train.

And there’s the way the smoke trail suggests that the train was somehow launched with great force, like there’s some sort of train cannon off to the right. It’s not just falling. It’s flying.

Even the prominent colors, the blues and whites and greys and greens, are cool colors. They clash with the anticipated violence of the train and make you long for an explosion like you’ve never wanted before.

Funny thing now that I look at this, though. At that angle, will the train actually ever hit the neighborhood? Or will it go on to the next block? What do you think that neighborhood’s like?

[Matt Adrian]