Edoardo Tresoldi is an Italian sculptor. He makes near-transparent sculptures using wire mesh, and often positions them in public places. Using his signature wire mesh material, Tresoldi has sculpts landscapes of monumental architectural objects that engage with natural elements. Classical typologies — like colossal columns and dramatic domes — interact with modernist geometries, blending two worlds that exist in both harmony and contrast.
Daniel Rich translates photographs into paintings that call attention to implicit political and social narratives transcribed in the built environment. The architectural image is represented in his work to introduce a dialogue about changing political power structures, failed utopias, the impacts of ideological struggles, war and natural upheavals. He is interested in the highly symbolic role architecture plays in politics and its power to function as an icon of our lived experience, a portrait of an existential phenomenology whose features manifest where society is at one particular moment in history.
Rich’s paintings point to the shifting of the significance and meaning in both images of places and the places themselves. His interest in the potential divergence and duality of images and the media’s role in covering and presenting issues to the public is closely tied to a pictorial architecture, and its ability to act as an icon for political, religious and social systems and beliefs. He collects and appropriates photographs he finds on the Internet and in newspapers, in response to radio and television broadcasts, and through research and reading. The mediated image is painted in order to invest the picture with the capability to function as a signifier and to evoke meaning and discourse.
Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.
In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.
Chris Agnew is a British artist known for his highly detailed drawings and icon panel etchings. He received his BA in Contemporary Art Practice from The University of Leeds in 2008, followed by a Masters in Fine Art at the Wimbledon College of Art in 2010.
Agnew’s work deals with the construction and deconstruction of belief systems, be they political, religious, social or cultural. He is interested by the malleable nature of what we hold as ‘truth’, and how the presentation of information informs our subsequent understanding of events.
Amy Park is known for her carefully rendered, large-scale watercolor paintings featuring iconic architecture. She works almost exclusively from photographs. Her subjects have included Donald Judd’s structures in Marfa, experimentally designed homes in California, and other icons of Modernist architecture. Her best-known series is based on a famous series of architectural photos by Julius Schulman; while Park faithfully reproduces Schulman’s original compositions, she selects the jeweled colors based on her recollection and interpretations.
Another body of works was inspired by the New York City urban landscape, with particular attention paid to repeating textures and patterns. These works were based on Park’s own photographs of major landmarks and skyscrapers, reimagined with more intensely saturated hues.
Artist Ben Tolman creates incredibly intricate drawings that dig for the heart beneath the hard edges of the built environment. He lives and works in Washington DC. He received his MFA in 2012 from American University and his BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2005. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally including being an exhibited finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Tolman has focused on the built environment—cities and suburbs, real and imagined, and the effects that they have, for better or for worse, on the people who inhabit them.
Rik Smits is a Dutch artist who works with several media. His large pencil drawings depict cities and landscapes sceneries, sometimes with a realistic attitude and other times with touches of surrealism or a narrative theme.
“My work deals with the relation between religion and capitalism, which is depicted in a scenery of architectural landscapes/cityscapes. These landscapes show the contours of an imaginary city. A city which breathes the human ambition towards power and status. Its large scale buildings reminds us of the industrial utopia’s which prevailed in the human mind, but failed to shine or provide peace and humanity in the real world.The most prominent facet of this city is perhaps its appearance, from which one can easily read that the main ideology of its inhabitants is Capitalism. But this ideology is beginning to manifest itself in a religious manner, and will maybe even become a religion itself.” Rik Smits
Vasco Mourao is an architect and illustrator originally from Portugal who now lives and works in Barcelona. His densely illustrated cities and structures are drawn entirely by hand and while all are of course fictional places, they often incorporate real buildings.
Mourao has an unparalleled eye for detail and underlying structures that has led to a full-time career drawing buildings. He describes himself as having a ‘tendency for obsessive drawings,’ starting with an early focus on horses, but growing to encompass entire cities in his own intricate style.
Germany-based artist Josef Schulz uses subtle photo manipulation for a gorgeous effect. He does not aim at exposing this architecture in any way nor does he want to venture into a critical analysis of its appearance. He simply uses the photographs of the buildings to study the grammar of his trade.
Schulz starts by taking traditional photographs of the halls, storage facilites and industrial structures with large sized photographic plates. Using digital image processing, the analogue picture produced is then “cleansed” of the few remaining hints pointing to age, location or environment of the buildings.
All details that might possibly allow conclusions concerning the actual size, users, time or place of the buildings are completely removed. The physical reality of the buildings is changed in such a way that they seem to become virtual blueprints designed to perfection. Schulz focusses on colours and shapes reducing them to simple block-like structures. Particular emphasis is given to symmetries, colour contrasts and the overall structure of the image: they thus become dominant components of the picture. The buildings now ressemble toy architecture; they suddenly appear to be benign counterparts of themselves.
Take a look at these digitally manipulated photo collages by artist Andrew Soria. The artist shoots cityscapes and then heavily Photoshops the imagery to create new compositions in a very painterly style.