Dorothy Koppelman

Click on Images for larger size

     I have been photographing and doing drawings of water towers since the 1980s. Walking through the city, particularly downtown, I was moved looking up to see high above so much street activity, a rare, and perhaps unnoticed beauty. I got a zoom lens on my camera and began what became about twenty years of a kind of love affair. Towers singly, in pairs, with clouds hovering, on high iron legs, hugging the roof tops, they are all wonderful to behold.

     And I am always satisfied because I know that what they have is what I aspire to: a humility and pride simultaneously, with no fuss. They are part of the evidence for the principle I love, Eli Siegel’s historic statement: “All beauty is a making of one opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves." Weight and lightness are so fused--the solid, brown wood staves, the clear circular form, the thin iron legs holding that weight--they give one a sense of composure and a thrill.

WT-1980 Installation WT-1980-3

     In addition to the photographs I have done a series of pastel drawings of these beings, and one enormous painting. I was pleased that a couple from Switzerland, found a pastel of a Broome Street tower just what would symbolize their feeling about their visit to New York City. And I am proud that the founder of the Isseks Water Tower company, one of the only two builders of these wooden structures here in New York has had, for many years, one of these pastels in his office.

Watertower 1986

                                                                                                                       --DK, 2009