Harlem Renaissance Post

The Subway by Beauford Delaney, a member of the Harlem Artist Guild.

Reginald Marsh, an instructor of the Art Students League, once visited Delaney’s studio and said, “Joe, why do you make them so hard to look at?” Delaney replied that he painted all the people who are in a scene – regardless of their looks. No one, a down-and-out bum, a prostitute, or ill-proportioned person was left out just to make the painting “easier to look at.”

The difference between a top-down and a bottom-up perspective is the selective sight. This painting was produced in 1953, fresh out of war, the common images were of anti-communist outlooks as well as anti-foreigner. However, it was accompanied by the images of the perfect American family. This excerpt conversation where Delaney explains how his image that deviates from the norm, illustrates the bottom-up view, arguable the reality of the 1950’s.





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