City surfaces are rich territories of textures, colours, materials and patterns. They are places of materiality and display, which constantly change under the influence of a variety of factors, including time. Surprising visual motifs emerge at a close inspection of the crust of the city, revealing a variety of layers and patterns. This photographic exercise tries to capture the characteristics of surfaces, showing how they are never plain, blank or empty.
This is an essential first step to approaching graffiti and street art research, acknowledging that surfaces are always changing and showing something.
These photographs work at a micro-geographical level, tracing the material features and the immediate physicality of city surfaces. They explore repetitive patterns and various textures by abstracting them from their contexts and focusing on their expressive potential. They are little studies of the importance of appearance at a very small scale.
Agglomerations of objects, layers of peeling paint, wood, brick and tiny mosaics – each of them gets revealed at a scale of abstract details, becoming a piece of the puzzle that makes up the appearance of London. From tags to railings and carefully composed decorative patterns, this series reveals an elementary stratum of urban surfaces, exposing it here in a playful arrangement for individual exploration and a shift in perspective.
Zoom out on the material features of surfaces, and relations between different structures of the built environment start becoming apparent, creating different spatial arrangements and geometries. They are placed into focus in the following set, which aims to provide a geometric presentation of surface features and qualities. Devoid of function and purpose, these features become an abstract study of form and colour, almost lacking any figuration or a sense of place. An exercise in composition and abstraction, these studies are meant to reveal a less visible angle to something which is always apparent, by selecting and exposing its inherent beauty.