Piece description from the artist
I painted this one day while watching many folks come look at and play in the waterfall. They seemed to transfer their enthusiasm to each successive group through the large rock in the center. The rock is perhaps the only aspect that is historically the same as the original park design. The bridge and the waterfall have been reconstructed several times over. This brings up interesting questions of what is original and what is a replica?
Like many of my paintings, the location of the viewer is ambiguous; perhaps we are standing actually in the waterfall. I purposely employ these compositional tricks to slightly knock the viewer off balance or simply question what it is they are looking at.
My nephew was watching the smurfs movie and suddenly exclaimed "Uncle, look! Your painting!" — he had spotted this waterfall in the movie. It was the portal that brought the Smurfs to New York… except the waterfall was depicted as being in Central Park in the movie!
So many of our landscapes are stand-ins, referencing other places and periods in history.
Noel Hefele is a talented landscape painter with a diverse background in the arts. Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, he received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002 and later earned a MA in Arts and Ecology from a school in England. Throughout his career, Noel has had the opportunity to exhibit his work internationally and has pieces in numerous private collections. He has also served on the board of the non-profit community arts organization PLGarts in Brooklyn, New York and co-teaches a graduate course at Brooklyn College called Human Tracks in the Urban Landscape. In 2013 and 2014, Noel was the Artist in Residence at the Barbuda Archeological Research center in the Caribbean.
Currently, Noel resides and works in the Bronx, New York where he is in the process of exploring Van Cortlandt Park and creating a new body of work. As an artist, Noel believes in the power of art to help us move towards a more responsible and holistic understanding of the environment. He sees the landscape as an entangled field of relationships that includes humans, animals, plants, minerals, and more, and believes that by viewing the non-human world as more than just objects, we can take responsibility for our impact on the planet and recognize that we are not the sole subjects of the Earth's narrative. Through his art, Noel aims to collaborate with the landscape in order to produce effects in himself and others, aesthetically and emotionally reconfiguring the way we see the world.
For more information and to see more of Noel's work, visit www.facebook.com/NoelHefeleStudios.
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