Valley High / Sunday Afternoon on Another Man's Lot

Valley High/Sunday Afternoon on a Man's Lot is an original mixed media artwork on a found window, and is based on a true story. I was enjoying a beautiful early fall Sunday afternoon with my wife at our home in Kankakee, Illinois. We don't live in the most prosperous part of town, hence the dilapidated structures and characters crawling out of washing machine as if they've been squatting there. Our neighborhood does have a certain charm about it, though. Suddenly we hear a ruckus on the street as two gangs are approaching each other in the most typical gang on gang manner - almost like a scene taken directly from West Side Story. What we were witnessing looked exactly like the Sharks vs. the Jets. There were even girls sitting along the street curbs instigating the fighting like cheerleaders at a high school football game. I decided to depict this scene because it was a raw portrayal of my charming, multi-cultural neighborhood. The characters are all the same image of a boy showing the fact that these kids all just follow each other and are of the same mentality until they break away from the scene. The viewer will see one of the characters climbing a traffic light pole as if he's fleeing the gang fight happening below - I always want to show a glimpse of hope and survival in my work. The title is a play on Seurat's 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte' because I wanted to depict what the people in my neighborhood do on a Sunday afternoon; it's differing point of view, to me, is hilarious. The 'Valley High' part of the title refers to another play on words: geographically, valleys are low regions. I live in the Kankakee valley, but this event certainly made my spirits 'high' as no one one was hurt, only rough and tough kids throwing words at each other in a most humorous manner.

42" x 42"

Ships within 3 days.

by Michael Costanza


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