“The city is a landscape built of sheer life”
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
I began working on this cycle in 2016. The inspiration for it originates from my own experience of having lived in large cities most of my life. However, my selection of cities does not represent an archeological attraction or a tourist guide.
The cycle, which is not complete yet, consists of a line of images of cities most of which carry a symbolic meaning. The stories of these cities transcend the threshold of their physical essence. They all contain within their overall history, the separate stories of various people who have migrated in order to create them through the dream of having better lives. In this process, these people, who have been on the move, have had to interweave their fate with that of the city they chose to come to and the urban spaces they created and inhabit, thus leading to the city’s growth, change and improvement or subsequent decline.
Most cities are subject to daily changes, both positive and negative, brought about by the dreams, ideas and aims of the people who are drawn to them. In essence, the city is a place which facilitates the interaction, exchange, convergence or clash between various elements: thoughts, ideas, commodities, skills, persons, interests, fortunes, desires, sensibilities, ideologies, and even stupidities.
As David Kishik’s Benjamin Franklin points out in the book “The Manhattan Project – A Theory of a City”: “Buildings are veil drawn over life’s face”. I propose to you to try to lift that veil and go on to capture the spirit of the cities I have chosen to portray. Most are located in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East whilst some are imaginary.
I believe we should not accept a city as it is, but rather as it should be in our dreams. However, what I am proposing is not the Utopian golden city of Tommaso Campanella. Rather, I am proposing to the audience to pursue the human aspiration towards BEAUTY in urban life and PEACE. It is very important in the troubled times we are living in.
Some of the works part of this cycle are representative of my practice of utilizing crystal elements on wooden panels. Thus, I make use of the capacity of the crystals to reflect light in a very specific almost magic-like way which adds to the fairy-tale like quality to the paintings.