In cities across the country artists have transformed the sides of houses and apartment blocks with enormous murals, some pieces stretching upwards of ten stories.
The artists behind most of the colossal pieces are Przemyslaw Blejzyk and Mateusz Gapski, also known as Sainer and Bezt, and collectively as “Etam”.
The two twenty-somethings met at art college in the central Polish city of Lodz having been into graffiti in their teens. They now work together on many of the projects.
The duo has also worked with Natalia Rak, another young Polish artist who has produced her own larger-than-life pieces in Poland and the United States.
Most of the recent projects by Rak and Etam have been commissioned by local city festivals, which have given the artists permission to paint without worry about being caught or prosecuted.
From a tumbling jockey to a fantasy tree house, the artists employ a mix of modern styles and motifs from traditional Polish folklore.
Each piece takes around a week to produce., and the reaction from the public is usually positive. The street artists invite the people to stop for a minute and to turn on their imagination.
“Poetry of Urban Solitude” (cit. Washington Post) is a perfect description of Pedro Correa`s fine art photography that seems to push the boundaries of abstraction and photography.
Urban lifestyle is fast-paced, busy and often a bit superficial, as we all know. Astonishingly, Pedro Correa manages it to capture a moment of melancholy and truth. His work shows the moment somebody is pausing for a split second and possibly reconnect with oneself and his emotions unintentionally — before taking a deep breath and hurling oneself into the hustle & bustle of the awakening urban jungle again. In this context, I thought of the Zen-inspired imperative of “living in the here & now”, frankly speaking. But what if the “here & now” let us painfully feel our loneliness and unmet longings?
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE JUST A DISCONNECTED OBSERVER?
The rare moments of courage & inner strength somebody displays his true state of mind – allowing others to empathically bond with this person and finally with themselves too – ….are pure poetry.
On the other hand, it is quite comfortable and exciting to take the role of a laid back, remote observer without being too much involved in the disdainful all-day life others seems to be entrapped. It sharpens your perception, lateral thinking skills and allows you to dig deeper than others who might be personally involved. And admittedly, observers wrongly used to feel a bit superior and therefore, less vulnerable.
ABOUT CROSSING THE THIN RED LINE
To close the loop: Yes, in my view Pedro`s works include this element of observation …. in both senses, as described above. This ambivalence creates a tension which is fascinating to me. Obviously, there is a very thin red line between independence (being an observer only) and feeling disconnected. The dosis makes the poison.
However, these are just my thoughts…Actually, I instantly fell in love with his photo “Lazy Sunday” in particular.
Despite of my fear that somebody will purchase the last edition of Lazy Sunday before I am able to get hold of it, I`d like to share this awesome photography and other impressive examples of Pedro Correa`s “Urban Poetry” with you….
About Pedro Correa
Born in Madrid in 1977, Pedro Correa moved to Brussels at the age of 14, where he studied oil painting and comic art at the Brussel’s Royal Academy of Arts in parallel with a PhD in image processing at the University of Engineering of Louvain.
POETRY OF MOMENTS OF EMOTIONAL FRAGILITY
In his artistic development Pedro Correa soon became fascinated by photography and the possibility to capture poetic and fragile moments.
Clearly influenced by his impressionistic painting background (his mother is also a painter), his style was born by experimenting with ways of injecting the emotions of impressionism into the “decisive moment” of photography, without manipulating or digitally retouching the image. He soon became able to create a body of work that transcends what lies in plain sight, by giving as much importance to a rigorous composition of the image as to the subtle and invisible atmosphere that is part of the scene.
URBAN IMPRESSIONS THAT MAKE THE UNSEEN VISIBLE
After leaving his day-job as a Project Manager for a multinational corporation in 2012 in order to become a full-time fine art photographer, he created his most transversal body of work, Urban Impressions, as a manifest for reconnecting with the invisible and the present moment, in order to find the beauty that surrounds us without us noticing it.
His works have been exhibited and acquired worldwide by public and private collections, and is currently represented in galleries of Washington DC, London, Paris, Ile de Ré, Basel, Antwerp and Brussels.
“In 2017 the Washington Post critic defined this series as “poetry of urban solitude”.
Please, feel free to visit his website with further galleries, sales offers and updated information about his exhibitions:
Inspired by my research for the BLOG entry about the surprisingly high number of very diverse German Castles, I am wondering how is our modern architecture doing?
No reason to worry, it is doing fine. My research shows that there seems to be no lack of fresh ideas and that there is still budget available for experimenting.
But as far as I know, lengthy German approval processes & regulations seems to be a real pain in the neck. The planning & approval of the harbor buildings in Cologne (pls., see the 3rd tableau below, in the upper corner left-hand-side) shall haven taken 7 years according to the architect!
Okay, and of course, it is annoying to experience cost explosions – in particular in case of public buildings financed by the tax payers & sponsors.
Thinking of our lovely Elbphilharmonie with its ultimate sound system in Hamburg (nickname: “Elphi”) that ended up with final cost of € 866 mio, which is 11,24 times higher than originally planned, German tax payers become nervous if they look at the new airport in Berlin that is still under construction.
Possibly, it would be faster and cheaper to build a new City of Berlin around an existing airport….?
However, here is just a glimpse into German modern architecture…
Modern apartment building in HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany, Europe