Ralph Fasanella

Bench Workers—Morey Machine Shop

Oil on Canvas, 1954

In the early 1950s Fasanella found steady employment through the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America at the Morey Machine Shop in Long Island City. The job provided a brief respite from the difficulties he encountered during the McCarthy era as a result of his radical affiliations. Fasanella painted the machine shop in at least two major works executed at the time. In Bench Workers, the artist provides a meticulous visual record of the shop down to the most minute details, and experiments with large-scale figures. He has depicted himself at the right, drilling holes into sheet metal.