Neighborhood of Artists..Journal North 

 by Kathaleen Roberts 


Ancient dust powders the old tire storefront in a patina of memory. Bare wires dangle from the ghosts of light fixtures .Faded posters paper cracked windows .a black and yellow civil defense radiation sign portends both a warning and a carbon dating . A sign on a train car diner declares   "  Home cooking eaten here "   on the door of an abandoned restaurant .

Albuquerque's Tim Prythero makes neighborhood miniatures veiled in the ghosts of a fleeting past, recreating the illusions of old gas stations , taco wagons and cafes with microscopic reverence for detail . The artists work can be seen in " Canvassing the Neighborhood" at the governors Gallery in the state Capital .Prythero fashions his fantasy cityscapes using resin, wood, plaster and metal . The result is a hybrid of flattened hollywood store fronts and dollhouses producing a kind of museum diorama of lost buildings. 

"a lot of technique you might find in other disciplines like trains" curator Joe Traugott said . 

Prythero has been working in this style since he fashioned his first miniature adobe house 20 years ago .The tire store came from photographs of the Bronx original .

" I have a book of pictures of old diners " he said . Its kind of a composite ".

"I've always been interested in small scale stuff I've always been interested in diners and Route 66 culture " he sais in a telephone interview .

Prythero carved the taco wagon from wood. He sculpted the diner from resin ,plaster and wood . 

"Obviously  ,he's quite skilled as a trompe l'oeil artist " Traugott said . " he's sort of decay. Old buildings play on a sense of nostalgia .you expect Cool Hand Luke to come by with a pipe wrench and cut the heads off those parking meters " 

In Diner #10 ,Prythero incorporates a fire hydrant ,battered mailbox and newspaper vending box , complete with crumpled Chicago tribune beside the curb. Weeds tangle from sidewalk cracks ,neon signs blare , while a crooked venetian blinds dangle in the window . He wraps his works in a sense of mystery of what lies behind boarded doors and shuttered windows . 

" I just like for people to imagine what of condition they're in -- whether its closed or abandoned ", Prythero said, I like to keep it kind of ambiguous .

chicago tribune beside the curb