It is a massive work of art that has been established in the MASS MoCA’s 130000-square-feet wing. It is the most significant contemporary art museum in the US.
Painting with watercolors is one of the least forgiving methods for an artist. Even a single stroke that went wrong can create a significant effect on the result of the painting. Watercolors are quite transparent and are flowy, which makes them very difficult to manage.
Mass MoCA approached Barbara Prey to compete for a challenge. She happily took up the challenge of creating the most popular watercolor painting to celebrate the opening of Building 6, which is the newest wing in North Adams, Massachusetts.
About Barbara Prey
Barbara Prey is one of the only two living female artists who worked on the significant work plans of government, including The White House. The government runs a Full bright Scholarship that works on most of the notable projects of the US. Her work gets displayed in the permanent collections of the White House and NASA. She commissioned to create four paintings for NASA. In short, she has all the experience to develop high profile art projects.
Painting of Building 6
Prey took almost a year to complete the watercolor painting of the detailed replica of the second floor of Building 6 before it gets renovated to transform into a museum. The portrait of the former mill is massive, and it measures 8 feet by 15 feet (120sq feet).
The painting includes the xeroxes of the large building columns, windows, and even the endless layers of paint of the walls. The initial process of collecting the material to initiate the project was proven to be more difficult than creating a lively painting. Nothing like this has ever done in history.
Struggle behind putting up the painting
The foremost difficultly was to find a paper large enough to paint on it and also the right kind of supports to set the picture right. Without support, the watercolor from the painting can drip off easily.
Prey got a unique frame built for it, but it was challenging to figure out where to paint the picture. When the frame was picked up, the cherry picker to send it in the studio through the window, the primary issue came up that the structure was only 2 inches bigger than that of her studio.
How was the work commenced?
Prey started working onsite, which is Building 6, before its renovation set in motion. It helped her to study the lighting in the building throughout the day. She also started to learn more about the history of the mill.
She stated that the place is very mystical and magical despite being dirty and gritty. And also that she wouldn’t have created this watercolor painting as it is now if she had no idea of the sense of the space. Spending most of the time in the building made it easier for her to study the accurate colors of the columns of the building.
She also used dust from the floor and ground chips from the columns to incorporate in the paint to add more life to the painting. Her work is the first thing that visitors see before entering the museum’s new wing. Prey’s work is appreciated and is displayed along with the selected works of James Turrell, Robert Rauschenberg, Laurie Anderson Jenny Holzer, Sol Lewitt, and Louise Bourgeois.