Red Night Falls

I am reading the play “Red” which is, in the end, about what the process of making art.  Sound dull?  It’s not.

The artist, Mark Rothko, is played by Albert Molina on Broadway and it won several Tony awards last spring.

The stage of “Red” is surrounded by a series of murals Rothko (in real life) was commissioned to do by architect Philip Johnson who was doing the interiors for the Mies Van der Rohe  1958 groundbreaking, at the time, Seagrams building in NYC.  The murals were for the walls of the swank-to-the max restaurant “Four Seasons”.  Albert Molina as Rothk0 focuses on an imaginary painting throughout the play.

Rothko was paid 28 thousand dollars for the controversial Seagram murals which at the time was a fortune.

I’d pay top dollar to eat dirt sandwiches anywhere, (never mind in the Seagrams building)  if surrounded by Rothkos.

In 1962, my father took me to “The Brasserie” which was a french restaurant that was,  if I remember, on the ground floor of the Seagram’s building. It was open for breakfast, I think, because we had these warm crescent rolls I’d never had before: croissants.


(This image began as an IPHONE photo at the end of a twilight walk in the industrial park near my house.  Then it merged with several Citra-Solv papers from National Geographic.  My neighbor just dropped off 20 more old  magazines!)

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©Pat Coakley 2010


Photographs from this blog and my wider archive can be purchased or licensed at

13 comments on “Red Night Falls”

  1. I’ve heard good things about “Red.” I haven’t read “Red” (heh), but I have read some of John Logan’s other plays, like “Hauptmann” (about the Lindbergh kidnapping).

  2. stunning. really. ahhhhhh is all i can say

  3. Wow! This brought to mind “Chicago Fire”. Absolutely creative. You are getting some awesome papers and “Yay” to the neighbor.

  4. Beautiful, colorful image. Missed Red on Broadway. Jealous you have all those National Geographics to make citrasolv papers.

  5. Let’s hear a great round of applause for my neighbor! Hear! Hear! I didn’t even know he had a subscription, never mind piles of old ones. I’m not sure how many actually!

  6. More industrial park/citra-solv beauty. Those little lights shining through the twilight haze add so much! Beautiful colors, yet a sense of unease…

  7. Amen, Don. I am the master of the unease department! As I’m putting together the images for my seminar on digital collage I am reminded of how many “disturbing” collages I have done in the past. I’m more mellow now, I think!

  8. While the horizontal bands of colour remind me of Rothko the vertical drips remind me of “The Shining”.

    I’d love to see Molina on stage and it would be great to get a better idea about what Rothko was all about.

    • “Rothko meets ‘The Shining”—I see it on the back of my book about digital collage, Razz! That is if I had a book about digital collage. Now, if you could write the contents as well, I’d be in business.

  9. So clever Pat! I’m with Razz – there’s something murderous about your image. Red rum, red rum…

  10. I’d personally rather have a Coakley on my wall.
    Maybe I don’t ” get ” abstraction without being able to find some sort of connection to humanity in it.
    That’s what you add to your photos and now your collages.
    It seems that this combination of adding Citra- Solve and N.G. magazines has enabled you to stretch your imagination beyond just the power of your eye behind the lens, into producing images that are very captivating.
    Cheers to your Blogroll addition.
    Has Carol stopped laughing at the inclusion of the word ” hiker ” next to her name?

  11. It’s so interesting that you say that about not getting abstraction, Bon Bon! Usually, I am a total nut job for it when painted, and Rothko painted? It’s like a huge cloud of colored silence moving toward me or beckoning me closer. Something in me responds instantly to it, and then I try to figure it out. But, photographic collage? I do not like it when so many things are crammed together that I can’t focus on any one thing.

    Carol’s water tower AND nude made me laugh out loud so I hope “Hiker” returns the favor.

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