Curator’s Corner: Spring at Last
Jessenia Hernandez's untitled work represents the sublime serenity of the moment when spring finally arrives.
In Review

Curator’s Corner: Spring at Last

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In New York, April truly is the cruelest month, a season of false starts and broken promises. It’s the time of year when sheets of dull rain coax the blood back to life in the veins of the cold dead ground. Every February, some failure of memory or nostalgia fools me into confusing spring for summer, and when mid-April arrives the skies are still grey, the wind still stings, and there’s not a flower (or a bud) in sight.
And then, all of a sudden, it’s May, and spring shows up at your door all at once and in full force, like a guest, late to a party, without an apology and pretending they’ve been there the whole time. But you accept this abusive relationship because the sunbaked days of summer will be here soon and past experiences have taught you to take what little perfect weather you can get: May, New York’s perfect month of spring.

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Oliver Arthur’s Vanitas is a clever metaphor for my false sense of hope.

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Balsa Darmanovic’s “Small Brooklyn Apartment” beautifully captures the duality of the late season’s sense of claustrophobia compounded by the betrayal of a single warm day followed by a week of freezing weather.

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Katy Bishop’s “Taking A Walk”, to me, is like the blood and life returning to a dead limb, the slow and painful struggle of resurrection that is spring in New York. 

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Bevan Choate’s “Salt Meadow” is a somber poetic mirror of the bleak concrete Brooklyn landscape I walk through every morning to get coffee, the sunrise looming on the horizon, my cautious optimism for the eventual arrival of warmer weather. 

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What artists and artworks make you think of spring? Show us some sunshine in the comments.


About the author

Matthew Rota

A graduate of The Maryland Institute College of Art’s General Fine Arts program and the School of Visual Art’s MFA Visual Essay program, Matt Rota is an illustrator, author, and instructor. He’s spent the past 15 years working with clients in print and online including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Penguin Books, The LA Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Smithsonian, Variety, Buzzfeed, and many others. His illustrations focus primarily on global politics, criminal justice, social inequality, immigration, and poverty. His work in illustration has been recognized by several industry organizations including Communication Arts, Spectrum, 3X3 Magazine, and The Society of Illustrators, where he has won two silver medals, one for his work on the documentary Silent Truth, a documentary on the threat of violence towards women in the U.S. Military, another for a series of drawings with ProPublica on Fire Stone Tires and the Liberian Genocide.

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