Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kathryn Fisher reviews Dionisio González

Dionisio González is an architect and documentary photographer who constructs spatially complex worlds that challenge ideas of architecture. Upon immediate glance, the photographs appear to be real depictions of urban locations. However, with closer inspection, you realize that these images are actually heavily processed photo manipulations of urban spaces that have been stitched to create enormous imaginary shantytowns. By combining existing urban structures with digitally drawn architecture, González has created deceptive yet believable landscapes.

When I initially saw these images I thought for a few seconds that I had to see this place with such crazy buildings, then another second passed and I realized what I was really looking at. At first I was very interested in the type of space that was being created. González has made this weird high-rise shantytown type of environment. These images bring to mind overcrowded areas, and homes that pop up too quickly, too close together. You know, those neighborhoods with three home designs, which are almost identical and have about two feet between houses. I hate those. But that is what these images made me think of. If those homes all got mashed together and where sprinkled with different building materials. I then begin to think about housing development, neighborhood planning, and our urban environments.

Other artists have taken on similar concepts, but with better results (our very own Libby Rowe, for example).  After seeing three images from Dionisio González, they all begin to look the same. Each image has some kind of conglomeration of lopsided, jagged boxes with cars and pedestrians in front. The images are too much of the same and don’t give me anything more to consider from one image to the next. And quite frankly I get bored and don’t feel like looking at anymore. Dionisio, you need to change things up and give us more to think about and new things to look at if you plan to keep working this way.

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