& New York
18 - December 13, 2008
Reception with the artist: Saturday, November 22, 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Urbi et Orbi...
Alexander Valdman presents
to the world his visions of its most wonderful cities: Rome
and New York.
Rome is one of the most photographed and
painted cities in the world. In his depiction of the Eternal
City, the artist combines these two media: he breaks his
photos from a Roman holiday into countless luminous fragments
and unites them and opaque water colors into unique portrayals
of the city.
Modern photographs create images of the Rome past and present
Valdman creates the ancient gladiator's helmet and the baroque
staircase and pays his homage to the city's greatest artists:
such as Caravaggio, in The Goliath, and Fellini,
in And the Ship Sails On.
These intricate mosaics are multi-layered: the viewer can
read a winged skull beneath the skin of Pantheon
or shadows of knights, monks, murders and lovers in The
Clouds. The artist transforms his personal memories
into the Rome of myth and archetype.
Unlike Rome, where Alexander Valdman has only been
once, New York is the city where he has been living for a dozen
years. In the search of his own New York, the artist proceeds from
the particular to the general, focusing not on the famous views,
but on urban details, like garbage bags in the past or trees now.
New York's history is, by far, shorter than Rome's, and yet it is
New York that is often called the capital of the world.
In weaving his splendid tapestry of the city trees, the artist literally
uses the whole world - images from the pages of National Geographic.
Like the tower of Babel, New York is ever-building with no apparent
desire to be completed and aiming higher and higher, leaving its
trees beneath. Valdman brings the trees up and makes them an integral
part of the New York portrait - high both in significance and in