The ninth of ten proposed mural paintings by Mahlon Blaine created for a never completed Paul Ritter MacAlister interior space in New York City. Under the pseudonym G. Christopher Hudson Blaine developed this sequence of dystopian views of the machine age. In this work a nude hand feeds dollar bills to an animate yet robotic cash register which serves as the greedy symbolic manifestation of industry. As often in the series, the artist employs a patriotic red, white, and blue color palette to alarming effect. Nicely framed and matted behind glass from the estate of Paul Ritter MacAlister.
Offering a dark and pessimistically erotic commentary on the skyscraper landscape that was taking over Manhattan, it’s unclear if Blaine and MacAlister believed these murals would ever be approved, or if the preliminary artworks were exclusively created as an oblique social satire. Blaine treated each individual painting in the series as its own completed stand alone artwork, with painstaking detail and inspired yet terrifying imagery. The series was Blaine’s last commission for some time–the following year Blaine entered psychiatric care and dropped completely out of the public eye for the better part of a decade. We are offering the complete series of ten original concept paintings, each an impressionistic story of a nude underworld goddess engaged in the horrific industry of the machine age.
Though these are some of the most detailed and colorful works that have emerged by the artist to date, it’s hard to imagine that even Blaine could foresee these images becoming part of the midtown Manhattan cityscape. The project gained at least some traction, and MacAlister created a 1:12 scale miniature room with his rough tempura sketches of the Blaine’s proposed murals featured in diorama.