The Taxi


The Taxi. 1985. Ink. 68cm x 48cm.

The rain is relentless: not heavy like a monsoon, but persistent and continuous like an old style shower that hasn’t been fitted with one of those new environmentally friendly flow restrictors. The time and place is West London, November 1985, and the Theaters have just closed in and around Shaftsbury Avenue. Cold dark sticky rain coats everything as it beads on the black paintwork, windshield and windows of the Hackney Cab. Wedged inside, and trapped together in the back seat, the older, well-heeled couple sits reluctantly and in silence. Once again, she’s not talking to him for some unknown reason as she stares blankly through the window at the rain-soaked streets and reflecting red brake lights. He ponders how many times he has been here, sitting silently, in the taxi, in the rain.

I had never really described the context of this work completed back in the 1980s and thought I would share the motivation and thinking behind it. Drawn over a period of weeks in blue India ink I channeled some of the settings and events I came across generally when I lived close to London’s Theater district. As one does, I went through a phase of going to various shows weekly when it was available and nearby. The fellow is the quiet and respectable Mr. Fisher, the Managing Director at one of the large professional institutions in Knightsbridge, London, while I merely imagined his wife for the rendering.