26’’ x 84’’

At the Helm

16’’ x 20’’

Closing In

28’’ x 72’’

Lesson Plan

30’’ x 45’’


72’’ x 55’’


Artist Adam Normandin has had a long fascination with painting freight trains. Primarily those he encounters in Los Angeles, where he lives and works. Through his paintings, Normandin brings the freight train to life in precise detail, depicting the rust, graffiti and signs of wear. These details reveal a history from each of these long distance travelers, and make each one unique.

Graffiti plays a pivotal role in Normandin’s work, and the vast majority of his paintings depict the tags and graffiti that accumulate on the train cars as they travel throughout the continent. Through his use of graffiti, Normandin echoes artists like Gordon Matta-Clark, who often fused fine art and street art to create more democratic paintings, as well putting him into conversation with artists working today, who have incorporated their street art roots into a fine art practice.

Normandin also incorporates the use of blur to convey velocity and movement. By using a mixture of acrylic and oil paint to create subtle variations in texture and saturation, the artist is able to offer viewers an unusual portrait of an object that is most commonly seen in motion.

Through his careful study of freight trains, Normandin reveals a certain truth and beauty of an ordinary object that is most typically unnoticed. His paintings effectively suggest that we should take a step back and observe the richness of everyday life. Normandin’s paintings are not only symbols of transportation and commerce, but symbols of accumulated life experience. They also represent an iconic aspect of American history.

Download the artist biography