Iceman Crucified #4
Oil on Canvas, 1958
In this final portrait of the artist’s father, the iceman dominates the canvas. He looms large over the street scene like a heroic monument, majestic and serene, surrounded by symbols of his life. On the cross at the upper right is a cup of espresso and a cigarette, representing a brief respite from work. Immediately to the right is an alarm clock, set at 6:50, just prior to the hour when an iceman had to be on his route. At the lower right, Joe Fasanella’s horse-drawn ice wagon stands beside the stoop as if he was momentarily upstairs. Fasanella conveys the central message of Iceman Crucified #4 in the plaque at the top of the cross, where he has replaced the traditional “INRI” with “Lest We Forget.” As in Iceman Crucified #3, the new refrigerator being delivered at the lower left is a vivid reminder of the disappearance of the icebox, and with it, of a way of life, as well as a symbol of the artist’s father’s departure.