Alternate Histories: Map of New York City

Released Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Map of New York City, by Alternate Histories.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Teach for America.

Matthew Buchholz fashions images of a fantastic past that never was, under the name of Alternate Histories. Using entirely digital sources, he refashions archival images to include monsters and science fiction elements, drawing the viewer's eye to search for the anachronism. Buchholz has long been fascinated with the quality of vintage illustrations and photographs, as well as the wealth of inspiration from low-budget science fiction films. He uses a variety of archives and computer programs to complete the work.

A graduate of New York University‚ School of Film/Television, Buchholz is originally from Tucson, Arizona. After working in the non-profit arts community in Brooklyn, he moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 to take advantage of the opportunities for artists. His show, Alternate Histories: Pittsburgh, debuted at WildCard in Pittsburgh in August 2010. Buchholz lives in the Friendship area of Pittsburgh with his dog Otis.

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About the print:
Map of New York City is a beautiful illustration of the five boroughs by the firm of Currier & Ives (immortalized in the holiday song‚ Sleigh Ride, as they were best known for their Christmas scenes and greeting cards). The attention to detail in this large-format map is exquisite, as it shows various points of interest - including Rosie, the East River Monster, grappling with the Brooklyn Bridge.

This print is available in multiple sizes, and in an archival ready-to-hang version. The prints are unsigned. The 14x11 prints are numbered by The Working Proof, and the 20x16 and 30x24 prints come with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Learn more here.


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Why did you choose to pair Teach For America with your print?
I chose to support Teach for America with my print because my mother was a librarian and a schoolteacher. I've grown up inspired by both my mother and the great teachers I have had - people who helped me see the world in new ways.

What has inspired you recently?
I am continually inspired by old science fiction movies from the 1950s, especially a classic that I recently revisited, Robot Monster. The film passes off a bubble machine as a deadly cosmic ray and a gorilla suit with a fishbowl as an alien creature. See the trailer here. I love the handmade, silver-spray-paint aesthetic of these old films.

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How have you seen art transform the world around you?
With the advent of the home computer and the internet, art has become far more democratized and more practical for a lot of people. It's thrilling to me that places like Etsy and other online sellers can provide a forum for artists to make money and live off of their own creations, even without gaining national recognition. Art is changing and being changed by the online world, and it's for the better, I think.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
Although I work in the visual art world, I have a degree in film/tv production and many of my artistic reference points still come from there. I would have loved to meet and work with Alfred Hitchcock; no other film director had such a razor sharp visual sense and an understanding of composition of frame and editing. Hitchcock would create the entire film in his head and then shoot it to his standards; that kind of precision and confidence is astounding, and I'd love to talk with someone who has such faith in their abilities and can back it up with masterpiece after masterpiece.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Working in the Etsy world and attending craft fairs to sell my smaller pieces, I've met a lot of great friends who also produce great work. These are just a few of my favorite people who are making a living with their work:
Laura Berger
Strawberry Luna
Tugboat Printshop
Just a Jar Press
ReConstructing Ideas

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