New Orleans Before Day
"Ben Hamburger's luminously gritty local streetscapes with shadowy shotgun houses framed by spidery electrical wires and sometimes lurid streetlights are so accessible that you have to look twice to realize that he's really a rigorous social realist who paints with efficiently evocative economy." - New Orleans Art Insider
Neighborhoods in New Orleans are in a constant state of transformation. They undergo a cycle of natural disaster, neglect, renovation, and repopulation. In this constant state of flux, neighborhoods retain aspects from the past, while adapting to the new. These neighborhoods are testaments to struggle and of hope. Their evolution lends them energy of their own, creating a character which blindly directs its future.
Inspiration for this series comes from the impression that neighborhoods in New Orleans are constantly on the verge of breaching a new day. This series depicts the pulsating energy of streets before they become a back drop to busy work days, complicated relationships, and the daily grind. Each painting is a reflection of a fleeting moment and an unfolding future on a street that will never be the same.