For most of 2022, Stipan Tadić rode the D train from Coney Island to the Bronx and back as he meticulously explored each stop, retracing the route countless times in search of perfect scenes for his series of New York cityscapes. Now, Tadić’s finished project Metropolis: 36 Views of New York — composed of 36 oil canvases that document the blocks surrounding the subway line — is on view through September 5 at James Fuentes Gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The result is a series of ubiquitous New York imagery: chicken hanging in a steamy restaurant window, delivery drivers waiting in the cold, and the unabashed stare of a bodega cat. Sometimes Tadić sketched what he saw and other times he snapped photographs, bringing both back to his studio to paint them in his characteristic cartoonish style.
Now a resident of Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, Tadić was born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia, and moved to New York to earn an MFA, graduating in 2020 and staying through the pandemic. But he says he still paints from an outsider’s perspective.With dozens of scenes so distinct from one another, even when the locations they portray are geographically close, the finished series probes the notion of whether one can truly ever know a place.
“New York gives you a lot of ideas without you going too deep into your own creativity,” the artist said. “New York is doing its own thing, and you can pick that up.” Tadić wanted a project