Luce Foundation Center for American Art
Folk Art: Folk Painting: San Francisco to New York in One Hour
San Francisco to New York in One Hour
Alexander A. Maldonado
oil on canvas and wood
18 x 24 in. (45.8 x 61.0 cm.) stretcher
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
Alexander Maldonado created many paintings that showed his vision of a world free from pollution, war, racism, and parking problems. He called San Francisco to New York in One Hour a "twentieth-century painting," because he thought rapid travel across the country might actually happen before the year 2000 (Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990). The stripes, swirls, and dots of color in this image evoke a fast-paced, high-tech world in which it is easy to imagine people being propelled across the country in just a few minutes. Maldonado often decorated the front and back of his frames and once claimed to have used more than a hundred colors (Cathy Curtis, "An intriguing interview with Bay Area artists," The Independent and Gazette, May 7, 1980).