Ralph Fasanella

The Other Side of the Tracks

Oil on Canvas

Fasanella contrasted rich and poor in The Other Side of the Tracks, which focuses on the suburban environs of Westchester County, where the artist had an ice route in the early and mid-1930s. In the middle of the painting a road and set of train tracks mark the stark dividing line between the classes. Beyond the tracks, the upper half of the canvas features the working-class neighborhoods in Harrison and Mamaroneck, New York where Fasanella made his deliveries, which are full of color and life despite the hardships of the Depression. Fasanella has even included his ice truck on the street corner at the upper right and shows himself behind the truck delivering blocks of ice in the neighborhood. The bottom half of the painting depicts Fasanella’s impressions of neighboring Rye, New York, particularly the area around the Westmore Country Club. He shows this area as being desolate and alien despite the luxuries it offers.

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