Middletown CT. 1970. Original acrylics on masonite. 7 1/4 x 5 1/4. Laid into a velvet-lined "antiqued" frame. Fine condition. Reed has produced a marvelous rendition of Paul Revere’s famous engraving of British war ships blockading Boston Harbor -- a harbinger of the American Revolution. The British troops being rowed ashore and assembling on the Long Wharf merit close inspection – they are all ants! Item #17118
This is very much Reed’s composition, after Revere’s (who in turn based his engraving on a watercolor by Christian Remick). The major buildings are more detailed, many of the ships are oriented differently and the size is significantly smaller then Revere’s 12x18” engraving. The acrylic paint makes the scene come alive.
Reed, as artist, almost defies categorization. His subject matter has gone through distinct periods over his career. This is from his History of the Western Ant period (roughly 1967-1971). Based on an observation that in photos and paintings of historical events people in crowds looked like insects, he went on to give ants their due.
Other periods include infestations (which his London gallery deemed too creepy to show), wonderful botanical and insect alphabets, wry Americana, portraits of famous people incongruously paired (e.g. Theda Bara and Thomas Jefferson) or situated (Custer on the moon, first ladies in space), and other material beyond category. He has worked in every artistic medium from miniatures on ivory to film.