As in his previous book, "Manhattan Unfurled," Pericoli starts with a long strip of paper, folded accordion style, and renders an idealized view of a New York skyline with colored pencils and a subtle palette of oil pastels. The previous panorama showed the skyline as it appears from the water; this time his imaginary vantage point is inside Central Park. Rising above a thick green smudge representing the trees, the buildings on the four sides of the park are drawn with architectural rigor and Steinbergian whimsy. "From the park all the buildings seem to look at me," Pericoli writes. "When I was working on the skyline along the edge of the island, they were giving their backs to me as if they didn't care."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
Pericoli is an Italian-born and -trained architect who now lives in New York City--and obviously adores his adopted hometown. His architectural illustrations have appeared in the New Yorker
and the New York Times
, and his book Manhattan Unfurled,
appeared not long after September 11, was a stunning tour de force--a set of two 22-foot-long black-and-white drawings, which opened out accordion-style, of the East and West Sides of Manhattan. Now he presents another 22-foot-long drawing, this one in color, which also unfurls accordion-style, giving an astonishing 360-degree view of the Manhattan skyline as viewed from inside Central Park. With the drawing comes a small but quite moving journal that Pericoli kept during his creation of this stunning piece of art. His prose, as it turns out, is as evocative as his art. Besides pondering the technical issues of rendering the piece as he conceived it, he also reflects on Central Park's place in Manhattan life and how to understand the city's power over even the briefest visitor. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved