Two Stories with Porch (for Robert Cobuzio) had two specific sources: one, a small building probably built as a toll booth, which stood at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, the other, a bay-windowed rowhouse in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, photographed by George A. Tice. In each structure, I liked the way you could look up and into a window, across an interior space and out again through another window. I was also challenged by the second-story bay windows in Edward Hopper’s paintings. One stands in the dark night and looks up into a warm bright room. One sees, just beyond, through the far window, darkness again. The room represents a brief, human interlude in the long night. As we stand gazing at it, it is not strangers’ secrets we are after but something of ourselves, something interior, something imagined—perhaps something remembered.
Tunnel Tower is in some ways my most fanciful piece. Inspired by the small building at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel that inspired Two Stories with Porch (for Robert Cobuzio), I chose this time to focus on what for me were the fantasy elements of the building: the resemblance of the building to a tower or castle and the scaffolding with its ladders, blinking colored lights, and neon lettering. The building came to represent for me a fortress: a small, warm, secret, personal place with a tough skin. The scaffold and sign mounted over it was about a revelation, a poignant beacon, a public calling across unfathomable distances.