The newly dynamic, distorted style Marin began to employ in his 1912 New York works loosely connects his aims to those of the Italian Futurists; indeed, the "Futurist Manifesto" had been published in the New York Sun in February of that year, sparking considerable interest among American avant-garde artists. For Marin, who had spent much of the past two years immersed in the modern urban scene, Futurism's celebration of speed and the machine must have had considerable resonance for his own project of capturing the weights, balances, and magnetic fields activated by architectural forms. In 1913 he published his own manifesto, entitled "The Living Architecture of the Future," in which he explained:

I see great forces at work; great movements. There are large buildings and small buildings, each under the influence of each other; it is the warring of the great and the small, the influences of one mass operating on a greater or smaller mass. Feelings are aroused which give me the desire to express the reaction of these pull forces. . . . And so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing.

In the decades that followed, Marin's watercolors, oil paintings, drawings, and etchings of New York would increasingly break down the boundary between representation and abstraction. He returned again and again to favorite monuments, such as the Woolworth Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, always improvising new linear and coloristic means for translating the almost overwhelming emotions he experienced as the "the music of a great city." For Marin, a passionate pianist, music became a powerful metaphor for the dynamism, magnitude, and power of modernity. In watercolors such as Movement: Fifth Avenue and The Red Sun, Brooklyn Bridge, he conjured a wide range of visceral sensations, including sound.

John Marin. Movement: Fifth Avenue, 1912. Alfred Stieglitz Collection.