Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Paul Raphaelson's Terrain Vague

Paul Raphaelson seems to have an eye for those in-between and lost places of the city (as well as a surname any artist would give their right arm for...). Places which may seem empty "waste-land" but which, if you take the time and look closely enough, are not necessarily desolate.

As he says about his work Lost Spaces, Found Gardens:

"Paradise is the Persian word for a walled enclosure. As often as not, in the city the walls are cyclone fences crowned with razorwire. Whatever they lack in charm they make up by providing a framed view from the outside. I find solace in the spontaneous gardens behind the fences. And I’m inspired by all the wild things invading them, by the relief they bring from the city’s antiseptic geometry and sheen."

And about Wilderness:

"In the early Nineteen-nineties I lived in Providence, Rhode Island, in a landscape at turns both overgrown and barren. New England row houses mingled with empty lots, crumbling husks of factories, and a dizzying web of trees, weeds, cyclone fences, and high tension wires. Layers of growth and decay confounded any attempts at easy interpretation. The landscape might have been formed by a simple mix of accident and neglect, but it felt to me like the work of a larger process."

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